Sustainable Funding for PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters

Sustainable Funding for Philadelphia's Green City, Clean Waters Plan

The City of Philadelphia adopted the Green City, Clean Waters (GCCW) plan in 2011 as part of its regulatory obligation under the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution resulting from combined sewer overflows. The 25-year plan envisions the City implementing approximately 9,564 greened acres (GA) (34% of the combined sewer impervious areas) with green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), which along with other stormwater practices will capture 85% of baseline annual wet weather flow into the sewer system. The plan represents a transition from managing stormwater based solely on a gray infrastructure system to managing stormwater through a hybrid system that incorporates both gray and green infrastructure. The implementation cost was initially estimated at $2.4 billion and updated to $4.5 billion in 2021. The GCCW plan implementation has generated significant benefits, including $60 million added to local economies and expansion of the local GSI industry (an estimated 430 jobs), according to a five-year review by the Sustainable Business Network and Econsult Solutions issued in 2016. The report found that GSI is generally cheaper than conventional built infrastructure, which is vital in keeping rates affordable, while also creating additional neighborhood benefits.

This report, completed with support from the William Penn Foundation, considers the sustainability of the funding and financing strategies that support reaching the target set out in the GCCW plan for the City’s hybrid stormwater management system, with specific focus on private non-residential land and non-City owned public land.

Click the link below to download the full report.


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