Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual: A process for program reform

The University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC) developed this manual to provide information to local governments about progressive stormwater management practices, including green infrastructure, and to provide a model for creating policies and programs to finance these practices. The report’s introduction asserts that a paradigm shift is underway in stormwater finance, and local government staff have a critical role to play in leading that shift.  

The guide addresses financing issues and opportunities, including:

- reducing costs through the use of performance-based financing;

- establishing effective stormwater rebate and credit programs;

- using markets and offsets in an urban environment; and,

- maximizing stormwater benefits through the use of green infrastructure practices.


The Manual details five phases of a local policy-making, program-forming process for stormwater financing. (The phases are not set up as a linear, step-wise process but more as a general framework.)

The first three phases – Gaining an Initial Agreement, Formulating the Problem, and Creating a Solution – constitute an interactive process by which stormwater management problems are assessed and at least one solution gains a place on the jurisdiction’s agenda.

Phase 4 - Communicating the Solution and Developing Support involves clarifying and explaining, for decision makers and the public, what should be done and how to facilitate political influence for approval of the program.

Phase 5, Designing Implementation, entails applying administrative skills and coordinating with others to effectively implement a decision.

A section of the report is dedicated to each of the five phases, detailing the steps within that piece of the stormwater financing process. “Creating a Solution,” for example, reviews the specifics for Determining Costs, Revenue, and Funding Options and Criteria, and (the Creation of) Stormwater Utilities.   



Publication Date: January 2014


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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