AAWRE Stormwater Experts Contribute to the Success of the WEF Stormwater Institute
Renowned stormwater experts James Lenhart, P.E., D.WRE, Scott Taylor, P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE, Robert Roseen, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, David Sample, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, and AAWRE Past-President Rob Traver, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE have played vital roles in the work of the new Stormwater Institute. Since the launch of Water Environment Federation’s Stormwater Institute (SWI) in 2015, the new Institute has been busy with its goals and strategic initiatives.
The SWI have successfully launched the rollout of the Rainfall to Results: The Future of Stormwater, a comprehensive report detailing the challenges, opportunities, and pathways to achieving sustainable stormwater management; the National MS4 Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards; the National Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP); and the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP).
James H. Lenhart, Chair of the EWRI Urban Water Resources Research Council, a member of the WEF SWI Advisory Committee and serves as the Liaison to the EWRI, stated the following on the current work of the Stormwater Institute:
“The Stormwater Institute was launched three years ago in Chicago at the 2015 WEFTEC and some of the primary efforts have been focused on developing the Stormwater Testing and Evaluation for Products and Practices (STEPP) and the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP).
We are trying right now to get stormwater recognized and included in the ASCE’s U.S. Infrastructure Report Card. If you look in the Report Card now, there is a grade for water infrastructure, which includes a small mention on stormwater. We think it is important to have our stormwater graded as a category. If you look at water quality, recent flooding, climate change, and other challenges- stormwater plays into each of these areas significantly.
I’ve also been participating on the SI’s Policy Committee, which the members of this committee go to Washington and meet with Congress representatives and legislators on the importance and impact of stormwater issues. We normally do this once a year.”
Scott Taylor, Senior Vice President at Michael Baker International and member of the SWI Advisory Committee stated:
“WEF reached out to me to participate on the Advisory Committee for the Stormwater Institute (SWI), by virtue of my position as Chair of the National Municipal Stormwater Alliance (NMSA). The mission of the SWI is to move the Stormwater agenda forward by providing good technical information as well as consulting on policy issues. This coincides very well with NMSA’s mission.
Historically, there has been a lack of coordination on MS4 Stormwater Program issues at the national level. Both the SWI and NMSA were formed to address this deficiency and help improve the effectiveness of MS4 Stormwater programs while also reducing their implementation cost. Collaboration among the state, regional and local programs is necessary to help achieve this goal. I am very pleased to sit on the WEF SWI Advisory Committee and help move the national stormwater program to the next level.”
The SWI's vision for the future of stormwater:
'In the future, all stormwater will be considered a resource and managed through an optimized mix of affordable and sustainable green, gray, and natural infrastructure. Pollutant source control and management of runoff volume will be pursued aggressively as a complement to traditional stormwater controls. Stormwater infrastructure will be funded fully and managed by a true utility with a comprehensive asset management plan that benchmarks for future success. Management techniques will improve continually through new science, experiences, technical innovations, and responsive regulations. Stormwater management will be part of doing business and part of community resiliency and quality of life. The community will value and understand the many benefits of stormwater infrastructure.'