Thursday, August 24, 2017

EPA awards $1.95 million grant to Water Environment Research Foundation

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), based in Alexandria, Virginia, recently won a grant of $1.95 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will allow the organization to develop tools for stormwater runoff control.

WERF will partner with several universities to create these tools, which will allow communities to evaluate the best stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflow solutions based on costs and benefits. The foundation will include green infrastructure solutions in its recommendations, which will focus on cost-effectiveness.

Green infrastructure uses practices such as garden roof and artificial ponds to address stormwater runoff by enhancing the natural ecological functions of an area.

“Green Infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing stormwater runoff that provides many community benefits,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said. “This research grant will provide an understanding of the costs and benefits of stormwater infrastructure alternatives using tools assessing expense, design and performance.”

Cost effective solutions to these problems are important for communities that often have aging water infrastructure systems and small amounts of funding to bring those systems into compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements.