More frequent and intense rainstorms. Elevated heat and humidity. High water levels and increased shoreline erosion. The realities of climate change, combined with aging and outmoded stormwater infrastructure, create a crisis for Great Lakes stormwater managers.
The good news is many of these challenges can be mitigated through the construction of green stormwater infrastructure--constructed wetlands, porous concrete, and bioswales that help treat stormwater and take the pressure off traditional gray infrastructure like sewers, pipes, pumps, and tunnels. But communities are challenged to fund and implement projects at the scale needed to address the crisis.
Fortunately, new thinking and approaches to funding and constructing green stormwater infrastructure are emerging. These methods, which combine market principles with community benefits, are upending the traditional economics and practice of building green stormwater infrastructure and are bringing climate resilience within reach.