The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Corona Environmental Consulting (Corona) are working together to develop a methodology and framework that will assist utilities/municipalities in identifying, valuing, financing, and implementing the benefits of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). As part of the project, they’re seeking to engage Exchange member agencies to contribute their knowledge and expertise as advisors on all aspects of the project. To the extent possible, the project team would also like to work with participants to apply the methodologies developed and document the emerging case studies. 

TNC and Corona are eager to engage the expertise of our members as relates to utility priorities and needs, so these can be most fully and accurately captured under the project. This is an opportunity for Exchange members to collaborate on a significant effort with TNC and Corona to make meaningful strides in defining co-benefits, the practical aspects of their implementation, and their impact. 

The primary goal is to develop a suite of resources that will enable stormwater practitioners to evaluate, measure, and integrate co-benefits information into GSI design, implementation, funding, financing, and incentive models. Both TNC and Corona have investigated these questions to some extent in the past. For instance, Corona recently completed its “Economic Framework and Tools for Quantifying and Monetizing the Triple Bottom Line Benefits and Costs of Green Stormwater Infrastructure” with the Water Research Foundation Project. This research will build on the existing research and tools, identify key gaps and examine much more closely and in-depth how co-benefits information can be used to inform GSI planning and implementation.

Among the key questions this project hopes to answer are:

  1. What are the environmental, social, and financial benefits of GSI that are of the most interest to utilities/municipalities?
  2. Which co-benefits should be prioritized for measurement (i.e., quantification and/or monetization) and further study? 
  3. What type of methodology or framework can be developed to help utilities assess co-benefits and use co-benefits information?
  4. What are the price points associated with selected co-benefits? What are the incremental benefits gained from the additional costs of designing GSI to achieve specific co-benefits?
  5. What payment structures might be used to support the provision of co-benefits, both within municipalities and within other entities (e.g. foundations, non-profits, bonding agencies)?

The project team anticipates approximately five workshops with participants over the next 9-10 months, including potentially an in-person workshop (pending Covid restrictions) in the later phase of the project. The first workshop will primarily lay out the project direction and focus, along with a summary of existing research, plus capture input on priority research and resource needs. 

If you’re interested in participating, please contact Paula Conolly at paula@giexchange.org.

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