Improving Water Management in the Great Lakes Basin
This was a 6-month planning and design grant in which the team developed a project to identify the ecological benefits and explore the financial rationale for pursuing an integrated approach to water management (that is, considering stormwater, wastewater, and water supply together) and test how this information – when combined with effective knowledge transfer techniques – can drive better water management throughout the Great Lakes region.
The team collected and extensively analyzed data on different municipalities around the basin – an exercise that helped the team identify the challenges and opportunities of working in various municipalities, and allowed the team a better understanding of their target audience. In the end the team selected and recruited six pilot communities for the implementation phase: three in Oakland County, Ml and three in the Grand River watershed in Ontario. These communities face challenges common throughout the basin: shallow groundwater overdraft, stream impacts from water withdrawal and discharge, and impacts related to storm water runoff.
A key project outcome was the design of a demonstration project and a proposal to the Fund. In December 2012, the Fund’s Board of Directors made an award to the team to pilot the approach in six communities in the U.S. and Canada.