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Sustainable Stormwater Management in the United States

Rainwater and stormwater best management practices (BMPs) are gaining recognition as effective, flexible, and environmentally sound ways for controlling the quantity and improving the quality of rainwater and stormwater runoff, while also adding amenity to a wide variety of development projects.

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) recently unveiled an updated website,, which provides planners, builders, developers, landscape architects, designers, engineers, stormwater managers, and elected officials creative new ideas on sustainable stormwater practices.

This website is designed to encourage and facilitate the integration of rainwater and stormwater BMPs into development projects by providing tools and resources for effective communication and implementation as well as in-depth case studies that examine BMP integration in several cities across the United States.

Learn from Case Study Experience

“You’ll find practical tools, frameworks for implementation and planning aids that can be adapted to your community or project,” stated WERF in making the announcement.

“New outreach materials tailored to specific target audiences have been added. Check out the guidance for retrofits – feasibility, challenges, maintenance, and policies to facilitate adoption.”

“Find information on creating a successful green streets program. Download a new interactive tool that allows users to observe the general stormwater runoff reductions that can be gained by applying stormwater BMPs in urban areas.”

“Take a look at some of the case studies from all areas of the U.S. to see how different groups interacted to implement projects in their communities. The case studies focus on real communities dealing with real issues, such as street flooding, green roof technology, public-private partnerships, and stormwater retrofitting.”

“The toolbox page provides links to many resources to help you encourage the use of sustainable stormwater practices. Additional information can be found in the resource links section. Check out the practical guide to considerations in designing and installing appealing green infrastructure.”

“Lessons learned from these successful projects, and many more, can help community partners – private and public – integrate stormwater best management plans into development projects.”

Stormwater Management, Low Impact Development, Sustainable Drainage, Green Infrastructure, RAINwater Management…. what is an appropriate term to use?

For more than a decade, the language used by drainage practitioners around the world has been changing to reflect the evolving objectives in doing business differently.

Robert hicks (120p)“Unfortunately, there does not yet appear to be a common set of definitions or vocabulary, with each region of the English speaking world using different terms,” states Robert Hicks, Senior Engineer with the Metro Vancouver Regional District in British Columbia.

“It is important to use descriptions which are linked more closely with the objectives and ideas – stormwater, sustainability, runoff, rainwater, infrastructure, etc. Ideally, the right choice of wording will frame the concepts clearly, and provide the terminology with some longevity. Clarity will help with uptake – jargon and anachronism needs to be avoided as they can obscure the objectives and ideas.”

To learn more, click on Stormwater Management……what is an appropriate term to use? and download an article that elaborates on how to provide clarity of meaning.