Greening Water Infrastructure

Today America is at a water management crossroads. American Rivers advocates using this transformational moment to move from outdated 19th century infrastructure to 21st century green infrastructure.

The time is now to make long-lasting economic investments, create good jobs that respond to the new, green economy, and meet the water challenges communities across the country face. American Rivers has called on Congress to make green infrastructure a key component of any economic stimulus bill. Green approaches to clean drinking water, wastewater management, and flood protection are proven, effective, and are cheaper than traditional approaches like dams, levees and underground stormwater tunnels. Read Congressional testimony American Rivers presented before the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee educating our nation’s federal decisionmakers in October.

American Rivers is working to restore rivers and revive rivers that have been cut off from their floodplains. We also advocate conserving our freshwater resources without sacrificing Americans’ quality of life. Low-impact development and other forms of green building are revolutionizing the way we live and American Rivers is making sure stormwater runoff reduction techniques like rain gardens are a part of this.

Additionally, despite a growing understanding of the climate crisis facing America and the world, we continue to lose crucial elements of our natural systems — the still-pristine streams, wetlands, forests, and floodplains that filter clean water and provide flood protection for free. American Rivers knows that protecting these wild rivers and adjacent landscapes through establishment of Blue Trails or tools like the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is a no-regrets strategy that must be utilized.

Unlike their concrete cousins, green approaches provide many benefits that go well beyond their primary purposes and save money, protect environmental quality, and enhance quality of life.