Global stormwater management efforts documented in new report

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection worked with Water Research Foundation on roadmap for communities looking for stormwater solutions.

Bioswale in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Photo NYC Water.
Bioswale in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Photo NYC Water.

NEW YORK, SEPT 19, 2017 -- The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with the Water Research Foundation, today released a new report entitled Innovative and Integrated Stormwater Management. The report is an accumulation of DEP's examination of stormwater programs from across the country and around the globe, including vital data sharing between New York City and 34 communities. The conversations included lessons learned and the challenges associated with flood mitigation programs, integrated stormwater management initiatives and regulatory compliance.

"Managing stormwater and protecting public health means preparing our communities for a changing climate, but not every program will work for every municipality," said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. "By studying the efforts of cities across the country and around the globe, including the challenges they encountered and lessons learned, we believe this report can serve as a roadmap for communities looking for the right approach to better managing stormwater."

DEP examined national and international stormwater programs to enhance its understanding and refine New York City's approach to a stormwater program that is both integrated and innovative. The Water Research Foundation is publishing and distributing this report on behalf of DEP as part of the focus on One Water. By sharing the Innovative and Integrated Stormwater Management report, the partners hope that other service providers can use it to cost-effectively improve the health of local water bodies and deliver related benefits to their communities.

"It is incredibly generous of DEP to share this comprehensive report with the public," said Rob Renner, CEO of the Water Research Foundation. "Many other communities can benefit from this guidance and the Water Research Foundation is thrilled to be part of this effort."

Innovative and Integrated Stormwater Management cover. Photo: Water Research Foundation.

The report topics encompass stormwater control measures recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as topics that are critical to stormwater program success or those that can result in progressive and innovative water quality solutions. Each chapter covers a stormwater program topic; the role stormwater has in the program; an introduction to the applicable U.S. federal regulations; and common high-interest factors that influence decision making when it comes to setting up and implementing the program. Within each chapter, case studies are presented for a sampling of the communities with progressive programs in the topic area. The effort also demonstrates that although many of the surveyed communities are actively implementing the stormwater control measures, their techniques vary based on the conditions that are specific to their community.

About DEP
DEP provides approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents. The watershed extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts deliver water throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.

About the Water Research Foundation
WRF is a non-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. For more information, go to

More in Urban Stormwater