Water Quality

Ajax, Ontario: Rain Gardens

The City of Ajax designed and installed three Rain Gardens near Lake Ontario to improve surface water runoff infiltration. The City also implemented two “bio-swales” that will also improve surface water infiltration but are specifically designed to improve beach quality and swimmability.

Collingwood, Ontario: Climate Adaptation Measures

The Town of Collingwood, Ontario, has implemented several programs to further their climate adaptation efforts. These include the Quench Buggy, which aims to promote Collingwood’s tap water and reduce plastic water bottles used at local events; their Water and Energy Conservation Strategy; a
Wastewater Plant Cogeneration Retrofit, which will generate electricity for the plant, using what was previously a waste by-product; and an Energy Audit, the recommendations of which are being developed into a Conservation & Demand Management (CDM) plan.

Quench Buggy News Release

Wastewater Treatment Cogeneration Study


Thunder Bay, Ontario: Climate Adaptation Strategy

“The City of Thunder Bay is developing a Climate Adaptation Strategy to build community resilience, reduce the risks inherent in climate change, and take advantage of opportunities associated with current and future impacts of climate change. Through the development of a Climate Change Adaption Strategy, the City of Thunder Bay aims to: 1) identify the impacts related to climate change in Thunder Bay and the risk they pose to our various service sectors and to our community, and 2) propose actions to reduce risk and vulnerability associated with climate changes impacts through adaptive measures.”

Milwaukee’s Comprehensive Sustainability and Water Plan

“The City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s…”ReFresh Milwaukee” program covers eight issue areas (buildings, energy, food system, human capital, land & urban ecosystems, mobility, resource recovery and water) and identifies two catalytic projects where adaptation and resiliency are at the core of the projects (“Inner Harbor 2020” economic and ecological redevelopment of Milwaukee’s inner harbor and the Milwaukee estuary; and HOME GR/OWN which increases access and demand for local healthy food). Across the eight issue areas there 25 goals and 53 targets for the City and its partners to achieve in the next 10 years.”

Milwaukee 2014 Sustainable Municipal Water Management Public Evaluation Report

The 2014 Sustainable Municipal Water Management Public Evaluation Report (SPER) of Milwaukee has been developed for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) in the context of the Sustainable Municipal Water Management (SMWM) declaration. This report is based on six axes: Water Conservation and Efficiency, Shared Water Stewardship, Shoreline and Waterways Restoration, Water Pollution Prevention, Water Protection Planning and Water Preparedness for Climate Change.

National Stormwater Calculator

EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator (SWC) is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.

It is designed to be used by anyone interested in reducing runoff from a property, including

  • site developers,
  • landscape architects,
  • urban planners, and
  • homeowners.

The Calculator accesses several national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site.

Sustainable Municipal Water Management: Measuring Progress and Reporting Publicly

In the face of accumulating impacts including urbanization and climate change, municipalities are increasingly embracing an integrated approach to water management that captures the full spectrum of a community’s impact on water. This approach cuts across traditional municipal delivery areas, to include infrastructure design and operations, land use planning and approvals, public education and participation, emergency planning and response, pollution prevention, and habitat and shoreline restoration.

Thunder Bay Cogeneration (2012)

The City of Thunder Bay, Ontario, retrofitted and expanded its wastewater treatment plant in 2005 to accommodate greater volumes of wastewater. New equipment and infrastructure was constructed as part of the City's Pollution Prevention and Control Plan (PPCP). The new design has led to greater efficiency and has boosted resiliency and adaptive capacity within the plant.

The case study reviews the features of the PPCP and discusses the benefits of the newly designed plant. The lessons that were identified provide insight for practitioners that are planning to update major infrastructural assets.

Stormwater Strategies: Cities Prepare Aging Infrastructure for Climate Change

Although managers typically think first of the effects on drinking water supplies, many are realizing that their wastewater systems (the focus of this article) also will be keenly affected, with profound potential consequences for public health. In many places, these systems are already under strain from population growth, development, underfunding, and maintenance backlogs. At a time when North American cities are just beginning to assess what altered weather patterns may bring, a handful, such as Toronto, have committed to upgrading their wastewater systems with climate change in mind.

Stormwater Management in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin: Cities Charting the Way Forward

A presentation on the stormwater management in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin: theory, survey results and examples of good practices.