One thought on “Stormwater Management Plan to be Discussed by Committee & DPW

  1. Thank you to Watertown’s Stormwater Advisory Committee and DPW for this timely informational event next Thursday eve. We hope lots of folks will take the opportunity to learn what they can do to help filter stormwater and reduce potential flooding in their neighborhood.

    We’re hoping the presentation will include recognition of the important infrastructural contributions trees make to urban stormwater management, and encourage property owners to preserve the health of their shade trees for this reason.

    Based on extensive research and case studies, four organizations (American Rivers, American Society of Landscape Architects, Water Environment Foundation, and Eco-Northwest) have concluded that compared with gray infrastructure, functioning green infrastructure programs:

    Reduce built capital costs (equipment, installation)
    Reduce operation costs
    Reduce land acquisition costs
    Reduce repair and maintenance costs
    Reduce external costs (off-site costs imposed on others)
    Reduce infrastructure replacement costs (potential for longer life of investment)

    Recognizing that climate change will bring increased deluges, cities throughout the US and Canada are making a major push to plant trees to help manage stormwater. Increasingly, “Grey to Green” is a municipal goal. For example, Vancouver, BC is well on its way to its goal of adding 150,000 trees between 2010 and 2020. Portland, OR has a Treebate program which allows homeowners to apply for a refund on their sewer bill when they plant a tree on their property.

    Right now, Watertown’s Stormwater Ordinance makes no mention of the significant infrastructural value of shade trees in stormwater management. Official recognition of this value would be an important step for Watertown.

    Trees for Watertown will be happy to work with Watertown to progress in this green direction.

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