The first national storm water infrastructure grade will be included in the 2021 report
For the first time, storm water infrastructure will be evaluated and graded in the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) 2021 Infrastructure Report Card. This move demonstrates the growing attention to storm water infrastructure in the U.S. and its importance to the environment and communities nationwide.
In 2017, the report card gave the overall condition of the nation’s infrastructure a “D+.” This grade includes drinking water, wastewater, roads, energy, rail and many other types of infrastructure. It examines infrastructure using several different criteria, including capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. According to the news release, the decision to include storm water reflects decision makers’ interest in storm water infrastructure for its abilities to address flooding and water pollution. The new storm water chapter positions storm water infrastructure as another critical piece of infrastructure.
State report card committees have graded storm water infrastructure periodically. California, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington most recently graded it. According to the ASCE, the infrastructure chapters in these states have discussed how to modernize storm water infrastructure.
“Effective storm water management in our cities and along our highways affects nearly every person every day,” said Eric Loucks, P.E., EWRI Governing Board, according to the ASCE news release. “With more frequent, intense storms on top of flooding events, we’re seeing more storm water runoff, risking flooding of our communities, erosion of our streams and pollution of our water. We need effective storm water management that can treat storm water as a beneficial resource, putting the water to work where it’s needed most. Including storm water infrastructure as a Report Card category will help policymakers get a better handle on the magnitude of the problem across the United States and how we can move forward in taking advantage of this valuable resource.”