The creativity and tenacity exhibited by storm water and erosion control professionals never ceases to amaze me. 2010 was yet another tough year to be in business, but the general attitude at industry events and in day-to-day interactions has been one of riding the waves to survive and even thrive. Engineers and contractors, government administrators, manufacturers, operators—everyone in the industry has learned to do more with less, to think outside the box.
Despite limited resources, there was no shortage of visionary projects underway or completed last year. We saw an upswing in partnership-driven work, especially public-private collaborations. Land is being developed and redeveloped more space-effectively than ever, and green technologies remain in the spotlight, often helping project teams gain public support and alternative funding dollars. The importance of proper best management practice maintenance is becoming clearer. And utilities, while some continue to stir up controversy, by and large are becoming better established and received.
More of you are embracing social media and using these sites to gather and communicate information. Education is still a top priority, as evidenced by ongoing investment in live and online event attendance. Many groups have updated to paperless systems in the past year, or are well on their way to doing so. Several, too, have improved and introduced technologies—perhaps today’s most important investment opportunity.
The general consensus among industry experts is that 2011 will bring a steadier economic environment as well as increased regulations and enforcement. See this issue’s 2011 Industry Forecast (page 10) for predictions from a panel of storm water and erosion control leaders.
The Storm Water Solutions editorial staff looks forward to continuing our dialogue and supporting your development and success in this new year.