Investing in Outcomes: Retrofit of Existing Private Stormwater Assets for Public Benefit
This project design award will lead to a later implementation proposal to launch a third-party stormwater management service that will help restore natural flow regimes in basin waters. The focus of this work will be on stormwater management assets (e.g., detention basins, cisterns, green infrastructure) on private property, which are commonplace and underutilized in the region. The team will begin working with Walmart, which has over 200 stormwater assets within the Great Lakes watershed and will bring in other companies as needed.
The team will evaluate the existing designs of Walmart’s private stormwater assets, and determine how to optimize the assets by retrofitting them with a real-time, automated monitoring and control system. With such a system, water can be held back to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and other pollutants that enter downstream waters. The team’s evaluation will show the water quality benefit that is achievable at a site after a retrofit.
The team will calculate the water quality benefits and will engage with potential buyers – stormwater utilities, municipal governments, and groups of dischargers facing tighter water quality requirements – in the areas where the assets can deliver impact. They will develop a scalable financing and project delivery model and then host a competition with 3-5 water quality benefit buyers who will be asked to bid on the newly-produced water quality benefits.
This work builds on work initiated by the Fund to create a business model for automated stormwater management and subsequent work by the team to explore similar models for nitrogen management in the Chesapeake Bay.