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How to Fund Stormwater Management Programs

   The stormwater has nowhere to go, due to clogged catch basins, and so the streets flood.  This water will eventually drain into parks and waterways.

CRWA Stormwater Utility Resources

Assessment of Stormwater Financing Mechanisms in New England: Final Case Study Report

Stormwater Utility Information Packet

CRWA Municipal Stormwater Financing Survey Results Memo

Learn about CRWA's efforts to assist the City of Newton to implement a stormwater utility

Stormwater Utilities

Stormwater Financing Case Study Report

Many communities across New England are exploring various stormwater financing options, including the consideration of stormwater utilities, in order to address the economic challenges of improving their stormwater management programs.

In an effort to help communities develop and implement appropriate mechanisms to fund their stormwater management programs, and to support the statewide assistance efforts of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, CRWA set out to evaluate three stormwater financing mechanisms in New England that have been adopted since 2005.

CRWA investigated the development and implementation process for stormwater financing mechanisms in South Burlington, Vermont, Reading, Massachusetts, and Newton, Massachusetts. These three programs, each with their own somewhat different structure, scope, and development process, are important models for other municipalities interested in pursuing the adoption of a dedicated, fee-for-service mechanism.

This report summarizes our findings and is intended to provide guidance and assistance to other communities and agencies who may wish to expand municipal stormwater financing opportunities. In addition, the report provides significant detail about how each of these three communities went about establishing their utility program, including rate setting, billing, public outreach and legal issues.

Click here to view the Case Studies Report.

Stormwater Utility Information Packet

To raise the awareness level of dedicated stormwater user fees, to assist municipalities in determining whether or not a utility is right for their community, and to guide the development and implementation of utilities, CRWA has compiled an information guidance packet of existing print materials that may be useful at public meetings, such as program pamphlets, articles, guidance documents and other documentation, as well as a list of other relevant materials. This guidance packet covers information created since 2001 and is divided into the following sections: 1) public education resources; 2) resource lists; 3) municipal stormwater funding; 4) stormwater utility development and implementation; 5) stormwater utility fees and rate structures; 6) GIS and other computer tools to develop stormwater utilities; and 7) gaining public acceptance of stormwater utiltiy.

Click here to view the Stormwater Utility Information Packet.

Municipal Stormwater Financing Survey

CRWA conducted a survey of municipalities within the watershed to collect information about their current stormwater management programs, budgets, and needs. The goal of the survey was to assess the willingness and capacities of the Charles River watershed communities to develop a stable, dedicated funding source for stormwater management and the survey questions were designed accordingly. The questions were aimed at gaining an understanding of each municipality’s basic stormwater management program, and the assets and gaps in their programs.

From the survey, CRWA found that overall there is both an interest in and a need to develop stable stormwater funding for the municipalities in the watershed. Most towns surveyed feel their current stormwater budgets and programs are not adequate. The results of the survey are summarized in CRWA Municipal Stormwater Financing Survey Memo.

Click here to read CRWA Municipal Stormwater Financing Survey Memo.

For more information on stormwater utilities, visit:

Assessment of Stormwater Financing Mechanisms in New England: Final Case Study Report

Stormwater Utility Information Packet

CRWA Municipal Stormwater Financing Survey Results Memo