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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.
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.
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.
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.
Tucson, AZ has been pairing water conservation and development of new regional partnerships with Phoenix to source water sustainably in a drought-stricken area.
Powerpoint outlining the city of Philadelphia's approach to adapting to modern water policies and actions to encourage innovation and sustainable growth.
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.
Powerpoint presentation outlining the key features of integrated water resource management for cities.
Creating a healthy, livable, and equitable city must include a commitment to effective water management. Yet, most cities have a water system that is burdened by serious threats, from lack of funds for proactive maintenance to challenges in quality or supply, that are too great to solve with current management practices. Cities can instead create a more resilient water system by transitioning to a new framework: integrated water management. This approach to water management can help cities leverage limited resources more efficiently and better safeguard the important roles that water fills in residents' lives. Residents depend upon safe drinking water flowing reliably from their taps, and cities must safeguard this vital service to protect the health of their residents. Providing clean drinking water equitably to all, regardless of income level or location within the city, is essential to preserve public trust in government. Water is a necessary commodity, powering residents' lives and businesses. Safe and easy access to healthy, attractive, and recreational waterways greatly enhances livability and economic development; even without a body of water, cities can generate new economic opportunities through infrastructure investment and maintenance.
Approval and adoption of policies related to Santa Clara's water management system in the face of climate change.