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Study exploring the disproportionate impact of urban flooding on Chicago’s communities of color. Examines policies enacted by Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, and other municipalities, ranging from resident assistance programs, open data portals, to building inspection strategies, as examples of effective ways to help alleviate the persistent problem of urban flooding.
This report explores the prevalence and cost of flooding to property owners—such as homes and businesses—in urban and suburban areas. Urban flooding is caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways, and making its way into basements, backyards, and streets. The critical findings of this study include: (1) Urban flooding in Cook County, IL is chronic and systemic, resulting in damage that is widespread, repetitive and costly; (2) There are multiple social and economic impacts on residential property owners; (3) There is no correlation between damage payouts and the floodplains; (4) Insurance claims were made across income groups, but low income groups were overrepresented; (5) Flood insurance payouts represent a minority of insurance payouts; (6) There are few good solutions available for individual homeowners.
Municipalities in Northeastern Illinois locally plan and implement many facets of water supply, stormwater, and wastewater management. Factors such as changes in municipal leadership, water’s rank among local priorities, and municipal finances determine how well water resources are managed. At the same time, external factors such as compliance with federal, state or county regulations, competitiveness for loans or grants, and the real estate development market can affect local decisions. A further complication is that while water resources are often dealt with in separate buckets – water supply, stormwater and wastewater – the water itself rarely obeys those distinctions. The output of potable water consumption is the input for wastewater management, so water supply conservation and efficiency can reduce demand for sewage treatment infrastructure and services.
Recognizing that urban flooding problems are generated by stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, yards, and roofs across neighborhoods, the RainReady Community program takes a neighborhood-scale approach to addressing urban flooding. Participating neighborhoods receive an in-depth, community-wide RainReady plan. In addition to home upgrades, the plan proposes flood prevention measures that extend to streets, parkways, forest lands, and public spaces. These preventive measures include the use of porous paving, rain gardens, bioswales, and trees. These plans highlight the considerable effort already made toward community resilience in Midlothian, Illinois. Solutions are being explored that emphasize speedy implementation and community-driven action.
OCEAN is an online resources of the Building Codes Assistance Project. Here they provide a case study of the work happening in San Antonio. On March 12, 2009, the San Antonio City Council voted to approve and adopt a new Sustainable Buildings Ordinance that increases the energy efficiency of buildings by 15% more than the existing San Antonio and Texas state energy codes. This measure incorporated water conservation and other green building elements for all new construction, additions and substantial renovations in the city. The ordinance will make San Antonio the third major city to adopt advanced energy codes in Texas, joining Austin and Houston. The new ordinance will go into effect January 1, 2010, and mark a significant collaborative effort by many stakeholders.
A report on urban flooding awareness in the state of Illinois.
Climate change is happening. Past greenhouse gas emissions have committed us to decades of rising temperatures and seas. Recent studies, factoring in ice-sheet melt, estimate that we may experience an average of up to 6 feet of sea-level rise across the globe over the next century. The potential physical and fiscal impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) are stark. We are already seeing increasing erosion of our beaches and the inundation of low-lying wetlands. Physically, SLR will intensify impacts from storm surge, flooding, and erosion. Fiscally, governments will need to spend large amounts of money on emergency response and to rebuild flooded infrastructure. Valuable government tax base and significant private investment will literally fall into the sea. And, if governments fail to plan for these impacts, legal fallout is a certainty.
Green City, Clean Waters represents the City of Philadelphia's (City) commitment to the protection and enhancement of our regional watersheds by managing stormwater with innovative green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), while also helping to revitalize the City. The Philadelphia Water Department (Water Department) developed Green City, Clean Waters to provide a clear pathway to a sustainable future while strengthening the utility, broadening its mission, and complying with environmental laws and regulations. As the City agency charged with ensuring compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act, the Water Department developed an infrastructure management program intended to protect and enhance our region's waterways by managing stormwater runoff in a way that significantly reduces reliance on construction of additional underground infrastructure. At the close of the 25 year implementation period, the Water Department will have invested more than $2 billion on the largest green stormwater infrastructure program ever envisioned in the United States.
Water systems in the United States are among the safest in the world and yet, the fragmented way in which most cities have managed water historically is not viable for handling the serious water challenges confronting urban areas across the nation today and into the future. With climate change driving dramatic changes in the water cycle and rendering traditional approaches to water resources planning obsolete, the time has come for cities to adopt more holistic and resilient water management strategies. Based on the outcomes of an October, 2015 meeting of mayors, municipal leaders and urban water managers, this report encourages the pursuit of integrated water management as a pathway to addressing urban water challenges within and beyond city limits. The report explains the concept of integrated water management; illustrates the potential benefits of pursuing its implementation; and provides practical guidance about steps elected officials, water utility managers, and other municipal leaders can take to get started.
An introduction to climate change adaption and resilience for municipalities with rich case studies and list of resources.