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Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint - US Water Alliance

January 2021

The U. S. Water Alliance’s report “Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint” was released in early 2021 and addresses the acute needs of the nation’s municipal water infrastructure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term underfunding of water resources infrastructure and inequities in access to clean water. The report makes recommendations for how the federal government could make funding for municipal water resources more stable; make water supplies safer; improve access to safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in low-income communities, communities of color, and rural communities; modernize the water sector; improve resilience to climate change; and take a whole-of-government approach to managing the nation’s water resources.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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USDA NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers an Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program to provide both technical and financial assistance to help local communities and individual landowners recover from disaster events that impair a watershed. The EWP Program provides two assistance program options for Recovery and Floodplain Easements. All EWP Program funding is provided to NRCS through Congressional appropriations. EWP Program funding offers the benefit of providing potentially faster and greater geographic coverage support for disaster-impacted communities because while a disaster event is required for eligibility, a presidential disaster declaration is not.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Water Rising: Equitable Approaches to Urban Flooding

July 2020

In July 2020, the US Water Alliance released the report Water Rising: Equitable Approaches to Urban Flooding. The Report focuses on providing best practices for equitable solutions to flood control and resilience. It proposes five priority actions that policymakers can undertake to achieve this work: using data to identify risks, assets, and community vulnerabilities; committing to ongoing and meaningful community engagement; setting a proactive vision and building strategic alignment with that vision; fully incorporating equity into any resilience planning processes; and emphasizing that investors target frontline communities.

 

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance, The Kresge Foundation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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An Equitable Water Future: Louisville, Kentucky

June 26, 2019

An Equitable Water Future: Louisville focuses on building equity in the infrastructure workforce, primarily the water sector, in Louisville, Kentucky.  Local factors that influence water equity are described, including concentrated vulnerable communities that are disproportionality experiencing aging infrastructure, flooding and climate impacts, and barriers to participating in the local infrastructure workforce. The report outlines recommendations to address these issues that Louisville and other municipalities can take to advance sustainable and equitable utility management.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance, City of Louisville, Kentucky, Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Virginia Beach Public Works Design Standards Manual - Sea Level Rise and Precipitation Adjustments for Stormwater Management Design

May 2019

In 2019, the City of Virginia Beach updated its Public Works Design Standards Manual (Manual) to account for climate change impacts in drainage system design requirements that help control stormwater runoff. The Manual provides minimum design standards for all City public works projects within City rights-of-way, easements, and City-owned properties (e. g. , roadway, drainage, and traffic signal design standards). Section 8 of the Manual addresses stormwater management, and unlike most of the rest of the Manual, its standards apply to all private projects as well as City construction projects relating to stormwater management.

Related Organizations: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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EPA Water Finance Clearinghouse

EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center developed this Water Finance Clearinghouse which is designed to support communities in financing sustainable drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure solutions. This online portal includes two searchable databases: one of available funding sources from for water infrastructure, and the second offers resources related to financing mechanisms for community-level water infrastructure.   Many funding programs listed address water supply resilience, sustainability and climate change adaptation measures.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate

2017

The Urban Land Institute has found that real estate developers are incorporating green infrastructure stormwater management requirements into their business models. This report analyzes current stormwater policies and describes a variety of real estate development projects that have responded to them. The report details some of the latest advancements in stormwater management regulations cities are taking to address aging infrastructure, combined sewer overflows, and flood frequency, that are amplified by climate change.

Related Organizations: Urban Land Institute

Author or Affiliated User: Katharine Burgess

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NYC Municipal Water Efficiency Program: Timed Spray Showers

August 21, 2017

NYC Municipal Water Efficiency Program: Timed Spray Showers: The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Parks and Recreation installed water-saving automatic shut-off timers and activation buttons on 400 spray showers at City playgrounds in order to conserve water by ensuring that showers are activated only when in use. The $3 million initiative, funded by DEP and jointly managed through a partnership with NYC Parks, is part of a larger citywide effort to reduce water consumption by 5 percent.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Robust Stormwater Management in the Pittsburgh Region

2017

From the RAND Corporation - a global nonprofit research organization - this report addresses stormwater management and sewer overflow issues in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan region within Allegheny County. The research behind this project provided the baseline science needed first to address this system future, in the face of climate change. This research is designed to support improved stormwater, wastewater, and climate resilience planning in the Pittsburgh region - and offers a robust framework for other cities facing these issues.

Related Organizations: RAND Corporation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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My RainReady

2017

My RainReady is a free, online tool that helps building owners diagnose the flooding risks of single-family homes and small apartment buildings, and find the best means of reducing the risk of damage from urban flooding.  After the user answers a series of guided questions, My RainReady provides a tailored flood mitigation and preparedness measures, such as landscaping and construction improvements. My RainReady provides a customized report that suggests a mix of home maintenance and DIY improvements, landscaping and construction options, and flood preparedness actions.

Related Organizations: Center for Neighborhood Technology, RainReady

Author or Affiliated User: Marcella Bondie Keenan

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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