City Green Infrastructure Update

Sue McCormick, Director of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, gave a presentation on the City’s green infrastructure and stormwater management efforts to the Green Task Force on Thursday, August 28, 2014.

Sue had previously worked for former group executive Karla Henderson for the City of Ann Arbor, where she was in charge of both above-ground and underground utilities and advocated aggressively for Complete Streets.

Some highlights from the presentation:

  • DWSD hopes to separate the storm drainage bill from the sewerage bill, and be able to provide credits to water system users for managing stormwater onsite (preventing stormwater from going into the combined pipes) through solutions such as rain gardens, rain barrels, green roofs, swales, and more.
  • A very creative idea to allow commercial or industrial properties in built out spaces to pay into a green infrastructure fund to pay for stormwater features in other parts of the city that have more open space.
  • Director McCormick stressed that with weather events becoming more and more extreme, it was vital not only to work on managing regular rain events more efficiently, but to plan for flood control.

See DWSD’s handout for the presentation HERE

The Water Subcommittee, led by the Sierra Club Great Lakes Office and PDD, has been meeting regularly for the last several years. It published the Detroit Water Agenda in 2012, and has been working with City departments to implement its recommendations.