Green infrastructure report examines barriers, gateways to adopting GI

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WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 13, 2011 -- The Clean Water America Alliance (Alliance) released a report, Barriers and Gateways to Green Infrastructure, today in an international webcast as part of the Virtual H2O conference. It is based on a national survey conducted last Spring that solicited more than 200 utilities, NGO's, government and private entities to determine what sorts of obstacles they experienced, and opportunities were revealed, when implementing programs.

"Green infrastructure comes in many shades and slices and so do the benefits and barriers," explained Ben Grumbles, President of the Alliance. "Green infrastructure pioneers need support, guidelines, and assurances to create the foundation of practice needed for more common adoption. A sustained campaign of education and collaboration will reduce risk and uncertainty and open the door for more communities and organizations to shift the paradigm from gray to green."

The report summarizes the results of the survey and is informed by the ongoing green infrastructure research and education programs of the Alliance. Recommendations were developed and refined through conversations with partner organizations including American Rivers, The Conservation Fund, Low Impact Development Center, Smart Growth America, and the Alliance's Urban Water Sustainability Council. The research survey was funded by the Turner Foundation to help inform U.S. EPA's upcoming Stormwater regulations due to be released December 2, 2011. Click here to download the green infrastructure report.

The report will also be a stimulus for advancing policy and practice at the upcoming Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference, October 3-5, in Milwaukee. U.S. EPA Nancy Stoner, the Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, will address the stormwater rule and how it will impact urban water management.

Key recommendations include urging EPA to use new stormwater regulations and permits to help drive green infrastructure, fully measure and account for economic and environmental benefits, embrace regional flexibility and results-oriented approaches, and focus increased federal funding for green infrastructure initiatives. Coordination among other federal agencies is critical, especially the USDA, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Department of Transportation. This can also be true at all levels of government. Only through greater coordination, education, and funding can green infrastructure be advanced meaningfully and sustainably.

The Clean Water America Alliance is a nonprofit, educational organization, formed in 2008. Its goal is to unite people and policies for water sustainability. The organization strives to engage diversified water stakeholders in constructive conversation that leads to innovation, integration, and collaboration for water. Ben Grumbles, former Assistant Administrator for water at U.S. EPA, is President of the Alliance. Visit www.CWAA.us.

To learn more about the Green Infrastructure report, the Clean Water America Alliance or the Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference, contact Lorraine Loken at 202.533.1819, or email lloken@CWAA.us.

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