Stormwater Management BMPs Strategy Paper

Stormwater Management BMPs

IMG#1Every year many homes and properties are damaged by flood water. Excess stormwater can also bring transportation systems to a halt. Effective stormwater management can minimize damages associated with flooding and prevent the degradation of aquatic resources. Current stormwater management policies have been successful in reducing peak flow rates throughout the region. The Chicago area has been a leader in stormwater management since the 1960s when flood control and stream improvement projects were implemented. New strategies can be implemented to further reduce stormwater volume and improve water quality.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is responsible for developing the GO TO 2040 plan, a long-range plan for the region's future. This paper will suggest strategies to strengthen stormwater management policies throughout the region and incorporate them in the GO TO 2040 plan.

Key Questions:

  • What strategies would be effective in further reducing stormwater runoff and improving stormwater quality?
  • Can the effects of the proposed strategies be quantified?
  • How can the strategies be implemented?

A Sample of Findings:

  • Reducing the amount of impervious aera on a site will increase infiltration and groundwater recharge.
  • Green infrastructure can reduce the volume of stormwater runoff during smaller low intensity storm events to a minimum. In some cases runoff can be reduced to virtually zero. It should be emphasized that this result may only be expected in low intensity storm events.
  • Incorporating ideas like conservation design and compact development into site design and stormwater management have a significant effect on increasing the quality of stormwater runoff.
  • Stormwater utility fees can recover the increasing costs of effectively managing stormwater.

To learn more about this report or ask questions, please contact Tim Loftus, tloftus [at]