From the SWI Chair – Spring 2018

It was wonderful to see many of you at the Water Week SWI Member Meeting held on April 16 in Washington, DC.  Meeting participants met with legislative and regulatory staff to hear federal policy trends and provide information to advocate for positive changes nationally that will benefit stormwater management locally. The SWI meeting started with a thought-provoking keynote from Daniel Nees, University of Maryland School of Public Policy, who urged the group to press for a new vision that would make stormwater part of the broader system of community benefits.  The SWI staff will create a summary document with detailed notes as a product from this meeting.

This is the second edition of the WEF Stormwater Institute newsletter. We will be moving to a webcast form next month, which we hope will result in an easier and faster to digest rendition of news and events for our members and friends. And, SWI increasingly has more to share as we gain momentum during our second year.

Within this issue you will find greater details on the following developments:

MS4 Survey

The upcoming national MS4 survey should provide a baseline for the stormwater infrastructure gap in the U.S. In a recent development, this may lead to the inclusion of stormwater in the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, which generates national visibility for funding gaps and is compelling evidence for legislators and the public. Inclusion in the ASCE Report Card was one of the main requests that came out of the 2017 SWI meeting during Water Week. Several members of the SWI Advisory Committee are working to make this a reality. Read the survey fact sheet.

STEPP

STEPP continues to be a SWI priority. The STEPP work team was renewed and is pursuing contacts on a regional basis that could enhance the governance structure performance data for STEPP. Additionally, a consortium of organizations, including WEF, are collaborating on the potential to make the STEPP program a reality.  The STEPP work team met during Water Week and will meet regularly to forge a path forward for STEPP by vetting the proposed consortium arrangement, once that is established, and by addressing more detailed aspects of the STEPP program. Learn more about STEPP.

In addition to the highlights above and all of the other items in this newsletter, the MS4 Awards Program has transitioned to a SWI program.

Recent talks also have focused on the need for SWI to be the umbrella for all WEF’s stormwater activities and have a recognizable brand in the stormwater sector for publications, meetings and conferences, reports, and other products. This is a very exciting prospect with benefits for SWI members. We will report further as events develop.

 — Sandra K. Ralston, Chair, SWI Advisory Committee

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