Navigating GI Maintenance with Capitalized Establishment Costs

Navigating Green Infrastructure Maintenance with Capitalized Establishment Costs

For nearly two decades, local stormwater managers have recognized green infrastructure (GI) as an effective, multi-benefit approach to manage stormwater. GI provides significant benefits for combating the water quality and climate change related challenges that municipalities face. In addition, GI is a centerpiece One Water strategy; it can capture and reuse stormwater to enhance water supply reliability, creating resilience to drought. Beyond these water management benefits, GI generates community and economic co-benefits including local green jobs, among others.
Yet, GI has mostly remained on the fringes of stormwater management. A “nice to have” amenity. To realize its potential and have a substantial impact for communities, GI needs to scale up rapidly. Lack of funds to pay for GI maintenance is often cited as a leading barrier to getting to scale.

This Environmental Policy Innovation Center and WaterNow report presents a solution GI practitioners and proponents can add to the toolkit for navigating this funding barrier and getting to scale: ensuring that the three to five-year vegetative establishment period for GI is treated as a capital cost instead of a maintenance expense. Recognizing establishment period costs as capital costs unlocks access to key financing options.

Click below to download the report.


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