Additional Perspectives

A whimsical sculpture doubles as a scupper to direct rooftop runoff into a flow-through planter.
 

Those who do not fit neatly into any of the stakeholder groups suggested on this site, or who choose to act outside of the channels available through professional ties or affiliations, can still support and encourage the implementation of stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

There is a whole host of groups that are involved with stormwater management, each with a role to play and a voice that can be heard over the cries of "we've never done it that way before" and "you can't do that here." Be confident in your desire to protect water resources and preserve the natural environment. You may be in the minority now, but the trend towards BMP implementation is spreading fast and this is a prime time to lend your voice to those in other areas to promote the use of sustainable practices.

Bright Lights

Often, the push towards greater implementation of stormwater BMPs and a more holistic approach to stormwater management is brought about by the action of a single individual or small group of devoted individuals. These bright lights can act as catalysts for change, driving the use of sustainable practices with their commitment to preserving and protecting water resources and environmental function.

Any person in any occupation or role can become a bright light and encourage the use of stormwater BMPs. Whether you are a homeowner who decides to install pavers instead of an asphalt or concrete driveway or a contractor who places trash cans on development sites to reduce the amount of trash carried to storm sewers, you can make a difference and your actions can impact the actions of others.

The Power of Public Involvement

The public plays a vital role in deciding how a community will look and function. Local citizens and community organizations with a vested interest in protecting water resources and increasing community amenities have many options for encouraging the use of stormwater BMPs.

  • Develop local projects using sustainable stormwater practices
  • Share the benefits of BMP implementation with local officials, other residents, developers, and local utilities
  • Participate in public meetings, communicate your desire to see water treated as a resource, and encourage holistic site management

Independent Researchers

Lush landscaping enhances the streetscape while it treats stormwater.
 

Those in the business of investigating and researching the ways in which stormwater management practices impact water quality, community development, ecological function, or any other sociological, technological, or environmental influences of stormwater can play a vital role in supporting the use of sustainable stormwater practices. These groups provide independent, unbiased information about stormwater practices and disseminate that knowledge to local practitioners. Some of the ways researchers can support the use of stormwater BMPs include:

  • Researching and studying new and innovative methods of managing stormwater
  • Providing hard data regarding cost and effectiveness of various practices
  • Determining materials and design parameters most appropriate for local conditions
  • Creating demonstration projects that show how BMPs can be implemented in different environments
  • Quantifying some of the more elusive benefits of BMP implementation, such as community amenity.

Next Steps

Take a look at some of the case studies to see how different groups interacted to implement projects in other areas. Think about how you might be able to bring such changes to your own projects. The toolbox page provides links to many resources to help you encourage the use of sustainable stormwater practices. Additional information can be found in the resource links section.

The following resources may be of particular interest:


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