What does modern stormwater management look like? If you ask engineering experts, more ponds, wetlands and vegetative ditches could replace past practices, such as simply burying bigger pipes.
Stronger and more frequent rainstorms — like the Aug. 11, 2014, cloudburst that dumped 5 inches of rain on Southeast Michigan in just a few hours — are likely to hit Michigan over the next several decades. And that’s expected to lead to more widespread basement and road flooding, water pollution and possible public health emergencies, according to experts.
With residents and business owners still battle-scarred from those 2014 storms, the topic of how to create — and pay for — the infrastructure to drain stormwater has moved nearer to the top of the priority list for local governments.
And that’s why new efforts are underway to create a common method of paying for drainage projects and giving businesses an incentive to invest in green infrastructure. The new ideas could help ease the burden on drainage systems around the state and region that are bursting at the seams.