In a new series of reports, Going Green to Save Green: Economic Benefits of Green Infrastructure Projects, American Rivers highlights the economic benefits of using green infrastructure to manage stormwater. The most recent report, Banking on Green: A Look at How Green Infrastructure Can Save Municipalities Money and Provide Economic Benefits Community-wide, uses data from ECONorthwest on the economic value of green infrastructure--including its benefits to ecosystem services such as flood mitigation and improved air quality--and its cost-effectiveness, particularly in comparison to traditional grey infrastructure.
The series also includes contributions from the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Water Environment Federation.
Mark Buckley, Senior Economist of ECONorthwest and one of the report's authors noted, "this report addresses the real economic tradeoffs facing local utilities and developers as they consider green vs. conventional infrastructure."
The report’s top findings are:
Not only can the green infrastructure option cost less, but these practices can further reduce costs of treating large amounts of polluted runoff.
Green infrastructure can help municipalities reduce energy expenses.
Green infrastructure can reduce flooding and related flood damage.
Green infrastructure improves public health -- it reduces bacteria and pollution in rivers and streams, preventing gastrointestinal illnesses in swimmers and boaters.
The report series also includes two case studies authored by ECONorthwest, The Economic Benefits of Green Infrastructure in the Great Lakes Region and the Economic Benefits of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay. Together, these reports measure the savings and benefits municipalities and their residents enjoy from the innovative green infrastructure techniques used in Montgomery County, MD; Washington, DC; Prince George's County, MD; Milwaukee, WI; and Ann Arbor, MI.