ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Sept. 28, 2015 — The Water Environment Federation (WEF) released a report about the challenges, opportunities and paths to improve the country’s stormwater systems at WEFTEC 2015 in Chicago, according to a press release.
The release of the document, titled Rainfall to results: The future of stormwater, coincided with the launch of the WEF Stormwater Institute to address stormwater issues, noted the release.
Stormwater pollution is a growing issue, stated the release. In addition, regulatory pressure necessitates innovative approaches, training, technology solutions and progressive financing. National leadership and collaboration are also needed for more sustainable stormwater management.
"Rainfall to results details a clear vision for where we need to be on stormwater issues, but more importantly, it also gives us a map for getting there," said WEF President Ed McCormick in the release. "From encouraging work at the watershed level to improving governance and the regulatory environment, the report gives practitioners the tools they need to sustainably manage stormwater."
Effective stormwater management using green, gray and natural infrastructure requires collaborative action across all disciplines and broader community engagement, reported the release. Six objectives are identified in the report:
- Work at the watershed scale – All communities will have integrated, watershed-scale assessments of water resources needs and challenges.
- Transform stormwater governance – Communities will catalyze further formation of stormwater utilities and regulations to stimulate stormwater control innovation and performance improvement by focusing on program outcomes.
- Support innovation and best practices – A broad suite of verified stormwater controls and best practices will support confident planning and maintenance.
- Manage assets and resources – Stormwater systems will be maintained through robust asset management programs and supported by innovative information technology.
- Close the funding gap – Communities will align stormwater management efforts with broader community goals to garner funding options and have access to innovative financing opportunities.
- Engage the community – Communities will understand and value the contribution stormwater management makes to flood risk reduction, clean and safe water, climate resiliency and other benefits.
"Improving stormwater management will be a key aspect of building resilience in the face of uncertain climate patterns and extreme weather events," said Mike Beezhold, senior planner at CDM and chair of WEF’s Stormwater Committee, in the release. "We need to integrate stormwater into broader regional and community planning and ensure we are managing stormwater in a sustainable way."
You can find the entire release here.