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Resource Type: Best Practice Guide

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State Policymakers’ Toolkit

To spotlight the important role that state governments can play in advancing sustainable water management, US Water Alliance and the Council of State Governments developed this State Policymaker’s Toolkit as a resource for elected officials and staff in the executive and legislative branches of state government. For each of the Seven Big Ideas (below), they briefly summarize the key issues and then provide real world examples of how states are forging progress. The promising examples are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather serve as a starting place for the generation of potential solutions that are specific to individual state contexts. For research purposes, these examples include endnote citations back to the legislative or regulatory language that was passed and/or implemented.

Seven Big Ideas:

  1. Advance regional collaboration on water management
  2. Accelerate agriculture-utility partnerships to improve water quality
  3. Sustain adequate funding for water infrastructure
  4. Blend public and private expertise and investment to address water infrastructure needs
  5. Redefine affordability for the 21st century
  6. Reduce lead risks, and embrace the mission of protecting public health
  7. Accelerate technology adoption to build efficiency and improve water service

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Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders

This brief, Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders, focuses on the most sustainable, equitable toolkit to finance and operate publicly-owned water utilities, for which elected city or utility leaders can advocate.

Water infrastructure systems are complex, but elected and staff leaders in cities are well poised to advance more sustainable funding arrangements while addressing the affordability of the water bill for their lowest-income residents. This brief does not weigh in with recommendations for state or federal governments, though they are critical to how public utilities can be financed and operated. It also does not address financing for privately owned or operated utilities.

Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders

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Balancing Green and Gray Solutions to CSO Management

The purpose of this report, Balancing Green and Gray Solutions to CSO Management, is to provide guidance to CSO permit holders and their Supplemental CSO Community Teams, to help guide the development of LTCPs for determining an optimal green/gray balance. Although the target audience is permittees and their communities, other readers should benefit from the summary of current CSO programs. It is recognized that there are varying paths towards inclusion of GI into LTCPs. Developing a methodology to measure and communicate the balance of green and gray infrastructure is an important component of CSO LTCPs. It is also desirable to promote the use of best practices like the USEPA’s community alternatives analysis roadmap with all CSO permittees. This report is not, however, intended to provide detailed technical guidance to permittees.

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Procurement Toolkit for Cities and Utilities

This Free Procurement Toolkit for Cities helps city and utility officials make critical early stage procurement decisions, including which “big city” procurement tool is most relevant and how to apply it to build resilience. The toolkit focuses on ways cities and utilities can use current procurement systems to enable better outcomes.

The procurement toolkit was piloted by seven U.S. cities: Anchorage (AK), El Paso (TX), Camden County MUA (NJ), Gary (IN), Norfolk (VA), Imperial Beach (CA) and Providence (RI).

With the generous support of the Kresge Foundationre:focus partners and The Atlas Marketplace brought together a cohort of seven cities with eight private sector implementing partner organizations to apply three innovative “big city” procurement tools to tackle major infrastructure challenges in smaller cities.

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Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models

This paper, Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models, is intended to help the stormwater engineering community more easily account for trees in runoff and pollutant load calculations so that they can more readily incorporate them into their stormwater management strategies.

Funded by the US Forest Service, the paper was developed with input from experts in stormwater engineering and urban forestry.  This paper further augments a robust collection of resources the Center for Watershed Protection completed in 2017 on “Making Urban Trees Count”, which includes a comprehensive literature review and research-based tools for crediting trees in stormwater and water quality management programs.

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Green Infrastructure & Health Guide

This guide, Green Infrastructure & Health, provides some general principles, best practices, and experiences about how best to use green infrastructure to promote better health equity. It is designed for use by managers, engineers, community organizations, planners, and others who are siting, designing, building, and stewarding green infrastructure in urban areas and rural towns across Canada and the United States. The guide is a product of several Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange cities coming together to build stronger partnerships between green infrastructure providers and health providers. The guide is organized in sections that can help green infrastructure providers and their partners answer important questions about how green infrastructure can improve health.

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Storm Smart Cities: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

This guide, Storm Smart Cities: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Local Hazard Mitigation Plans, is a case study of Huntington, West Virginia and early efforts to consider how green infrastructure could be incorporated into local hazard mitigation plans.  It follows a partnership of local, state, and federal organizations and their collaborative effort to address local flooding and protect water quality.  While the effort is ongoing, the Storm Smart Cities guide captures some early lessons learned that can benefit other communities interested in pursuing a similar approach.  It includes recommendations for communities on integrating green infrastructure into local hazard mitigation plans.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating Community Input into Green Infrastructure Projects

ELI and its partner Amigos Bravos drafted this Guide to Integrating Community Input into Green Infrastructure Projects to help local governments integrate community input into their green infrastructure projects. It sets out eight steps that local governments can take and, for each step, provides details and tips to help local governments as they move through the process.

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Evaluating Green Infrastructure: A Combined Sewer Overflow Control Alternative for Long Term Control Plans

The intent of this document, Evaluating Green Infrastructure: A Combined Sewer Overflow Control Alternative for Long Term Control Plans, is to provide guidance to Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) permittees within the State of New Jersey to evaluate green infrastructure (GI) as part of their Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs).

LTCP implementation will be a long and expensive process. Many of the alternatives that will ultimately be implemented to address CSOs will be built on publicly owned land, the cost of which will be borne primarily by the rate payer. GI, however, can and should be implemented both on publicly and privately owned land, allowing the cost of GI to be shared by both the rate payers and private developers.

This guidance is not intended to be the sole resource for evaluating this alternative. This guidance provides case studies, links, and resources to assist
a CSO permittee with including GI as part of its CSO Long Term Control Plan.

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Asset Management Definitions Guidebook

The Asset Management Definitions Guidebook defines terms commonly used in water utility Asset Management practice. American Water Works Association’s Asset Management Committee developed it to help improve learning, consistency, and communication in the water industry. The Committee encourages professionals throughout the industry to use the guidebook, and expects the terminology in products that the Committee sponsors (e.g., publications and presentations) to be consistent with it.

As Asset Management practice in the water industry matures, its terminology is likely to change. Thus, the Committee plans to revise this guidance periodically to reflect changes, and invites people that use the document to send the Committee comments on how it can be improved.



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