Related Case Studies Related Publications Featured Consultant Buckley Dr. Mark Buckley

Mark specializes in natural resource and environmental economics.

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Methods and Tools Non-Market Valuation

ECONorthwest has unparalleled expertise in quantifying the value associated with non-market goods and services.

Econometric & Statistical Analysis & Modeling

ECONorthwest can construct or deconstruct any econometric and statistical model or analysis.

Stormwater & Green Infrastructure

Stormwater-and-green-infrastructure

ECONorthwest understands the economic costs and benefits of stormwater infrastructure.

What it means to “manage” stormwater has evolved over time. For many years, managing stormwater meant collecting rainwater that fell on impervious surfaces such as roofs, roads and parking lots, and transporting it to a stream, river, or treatment facility. Engineers designed systems that efficiently collect and transport stormwater and these systems functioned across a spectrum of landscape types, soil conditions, slopes, etc. Site designers, planners and regulatory staff developed management guidelines and implemented them on a parcel-by-parcel basis. At the time, people were not concerned about the cumulative ecological consequences of managing stormwater in this way, especially at the watershed scale. Times, and thinking, have changed.

Today, managing stormwater means much more than moving stormwater. It means considering the consequences of management alternatives on a range of biophysical and ecological factors. Things like the volume, flow velocity and quality of receiving waters, and groundwater recharge. In general, stormwater managers and regulators have become much more concerned about the impacts of management on the range of ecosystem services that stormwater can affect. Increasingly, and sometimes at the urging of regulators, developers, engineers and site designers are using “green infrastructure” approaches to stormwater management that mimic the natural hydrologic processes of infiltration and evapotranspiration.

How ECONorthwest Can Help

Changing from grey to green infrastructure involves costs, benefits and some uncertainties. Regulators at the local, state and national level wonder about the economic costs of encouraging or requiring green infrastructure in new developments. Builders and engineers have questions about the market risks of incorporating green infrastructure into their developments. Questions from property owners include how green infrastructure would impact their monthly stormwater fees.

At ECONorthwest, we help regulators, decisionmakers, and stakeholders at the local, state and national level understand the economic aspects of stormwater management and green infrastructure. We often work with civil and environmental engineers and architects to merge economic with design considerations. Our services include:

  • Advising regulators, decisionmakers and stakeholders on the economic aspects of public policies that affect stormwater management.
  • Assessing the market and non-market costs and benefit of implementing green infrastructure stormwater controls.
  • Identifying appropriate mitigation measures and economic incentives to help increase adoption of green infrastructure.
  • Describing market-based mechanisms that influence decisions by developers to incorporate green infrastructure in new projects.

Interested in learning more about how ECONorthwest can help you with your next project? Our toolbox is full and our staff enjoy meeting new challenges.

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