Edited by Hale W. Thurston, published by CRC Press
A summary by Seth Brown
Issues covered by Economic Incentives for Stormwater Control range from an overview of the cost-effectiveness of stormwater best management practices (BMP) to the impacts of clean water on property values to cap-and-trade frameworks for stormwater management.
Costs here include not only capital but long-term operation and maintenance costs, which are of considerable significance and debate in the stormwater community. Book authors integrate an assessment of pollutant removal and water quality volume capture with present costs of various BMPs over their useful life spans. Authors also present a decision-making methodology for green infrastructure planning.
The book references a growing body of evidence illustrating that low-impact development practices often lead to an overall reduction in stormwater management costs while reducing flooding and combined sewer overflows. However, the authors are careful to include uncertainties associated with costs, performance, and human factors.
Using triple-bottom-line analysis, authors show that housing prices are “significantly” linked to nutrient levels in nearby waterbodies.
Later chapters cover the role of opportunity costs in incentive frameworks; a comparison of price instruments through the lenses of economics, law, and hydrology; a detailed analysis of in-lieu fee programs for stormwater management; and a thorough presentation of a proposed cap-and-trade program to address combined and separate sewer overflow events.
Overall, this publication provides a valuable and comprehensive overview of current thinking on financial frameworks addressing the costs associated with stormwater management.