We are thrilled to announce the applicants selected for WaterNow’s third Project Accelerator round. This selection process was exceptionally challenging since we received more than 30 high quality and creative applications for support on a wide variety of projects. If we could, we’d select every single one of them. It’s exciting to see so many utilities from across the U.S. developing sustainable and innovative projects to improve their community’s water supply quality and quantity, as well as raising public awareness about these important issues.
Without further ado, our Spring 2019 Project Accelerator winners are: the City of New Orleans, Louisiana and the City of Madison, Wisconsin.
Green Streets Ordinance – New Orleans
New Orleans has an overarching stormwater plan to mitigate damage caused by floods and urban stormwater runoff. With a One Water approach in mind, the City wants to develop a Green Streets Ordinance that will allow it to reduce and treat stormwater at the source, while also providing multiple community benefits such as increased green space.
WaterNow will work with City staff and Council providing additional capacity and expertise to guide the development of this ordinance. We will, among other tasks, research existing green streets ordinances throughout the U.S., convene stakeholder meetings, and prepare a report with recommendations on key ordinance elements. Green streets improve community resilience and are the exact type of localized infrastructure promoted by WaterNow’s recently launched Tap into Resilience campaign.
Community Engagement to Inform Water Conservation Plan – Madison
Recognizing that conservation is water supply, Madison Water Utility and its customers are committed to using water efficiently. Over 70% of respondents to a 2016 “Know Your H2O” survey said they are actively working to save water. After checking off a 2008 goal (one year early!) to reduce residential per-capita water use by 20% by 2020, the Utility is updating its Water Conservation and Sustainability Plan to further improve efficiency.
To inform this process, Madison Water Utility wants to engage with their customers to better understand which incentives would be most effective in increasing water use efficiency still further. WaterNow, in partnership with the online polling platform POLCO, will work with the Utility to maximize public engagement and ensure that any new programs added to the Water Conservation and Sustainability Plan are inclusive of all customers. WaterNow will also work with the Utility to identify programs that provide the greatest return on its investment and develop metrics to track success.