On Dec. 14, DC Water, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement to focus on green infrastructure. The partnership, Clean Rivers, Green District, will enhance efforts to investigate the use of green infrastructure in the D.C. area. This may expand and expedite a series of pilot green infrastructure projects planned by DC Water and eventually reduce the need for gray infrastructure to combat combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Potomac River. The agreement calls for extensive monitoring and reporting on the efficacy of DC Water’s future green infrastructure projects used to meet CSO obligations under its current consent decree.

The partnership document also states that planning and design efforts will continue for a series of underground storage facilities, as outlined in the current long-term control plan. However, the schedule for some work will be amended to allow for implementation and analysis of the green infrastructure projects. A unique aspect of the agreement is a planned Green Design Competition. The competition will engage the private sector and other interested parties in developing designs illustrating the performance capacity and pragmatic use of green infrastructure practices in an ultraurban environment. Other groups, including academic and nongovernmental organizations, will be encouraged to help design, develop, and review planned practices associated with the green infrastructure projects. Read more.