- E2's first ever state-wide event
- E2 members meet with Governor, Attorney General and Senate President
- E2 and Massachusetts Governor tour E2 Director's Net Energy Home
- Water supply and quantity can be improved through green infrastructure
- Get to Know E2 San Diego Chapter Director Carl Nettleton
- March 15 event: Mission Critical Clean Energy and the U.S. Military
-Update on E2's Linked-In Group
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| || Water: The Oil of the 21st Century |
On February 8, E2 hosted a webinar on ‘green infrastructure’ and how we can better manage rainfall to protect our water supply. With the growth of urban and suburban development, we have built more impervious surfaces. As a consequence, an increasing amount of rainwater is flowing into gutters and water treatment systems, bringing pollutants with it and causing systems to overflow. That runoff has a particularly high cost in a state like California, where water transportation is one of the largest users of energy and rainwater capture represents a significant opportunity to increase the energy-efficient supply of water.
Green infrastructure is an approach to stormwater management that captures rainwater for infiltration into the ground or for onsite use. Whereas traditional solutions involve cement and pipe systems that convey rainwater from where it falls, green infrastructure manages stormwater through use of permeable pavement, green roofs, parks, roadside plantings, rain barrels and other mechanisms that mimic natural hydrologic function.
Since 1987, the control and treatment of stormwater discharges have been regulated under the Clean Water Act (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System), which requires communities to implement infrastructure upgrades to meet national standards. Many cities and states have adopted increasingly robust plans at standards. The EPA estimates the cost of fixing aging systems to be well over $100 billion over the next 20 years, nationwide. In the face of these challenges, green infrastructure represents a flexible, more cost-effective and comprehensive approach.
Policy frameworks can play a crucial role in attracting private investors to greener stormwater management efforts. Philadelphia has taken a lead in designing a billing and credit mechanism to encourage private investment. NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation is working with Philadelphia to explore financing options, using some of the energy efficiency financing models as a starting point.
E2 will be following these water issues more closely over the coming months. We invite you to immerse yourself more deeply in the reports referenced in the webinar: NRDC, Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond, 2012
NRDC, Rooftops to Rivers II, green strategies for controlling stormwater and combined sewer overflows, 2011
NRDC, A Clear Blue Future: how greening California cities can address water resources and climate challenges in the 21st Century, 2009
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