Reduce Flooding with More Stormwater Improvements
Our storm water system was designed and developed decades ago to meet the needs of a smaller, dryer city. In Ann Arbor, precipitation has increased more than 45% over the past fifty years -- enough to fill about 40 Michigan Stadiums. As the climate has changed, our stormwater system has become inadequate.
We have $56M of stormwater projects into our Capital Improvement Plan. We need a system that can meet our community’s needs now and continues to serve Ann Arbor in the future. Therefore, we have increased funding for City-led stormwater projects and we require developers to improve stormwater treatments whenever they build. This means, going forward, that we will be able to implement more and more effective stormwater solutions to reduce neighborhood flooding.
To make sure that our stormwater projects are effective and efficient, we have built a rigorous stormwater model that has given us detailed insights and predictions into how our stormwater system works during weather events. The City’s investment in this project has allowed for the development of a tool for municipal stormwater management that is highly complex and refined. The model is capable of providing valuable information for various applications, from green infrastructure planning and stormwater system design, to floodplain analysis and emergency management. Output from the model for each of these applications can be relied upon confidently as the best information available. Most critically, the model can continue to be utilized easily and efficiently by the City to help optimize the allocation of stormwater utility funding.\
Additionally, trees are an essential element of stormwater management. Ann Arbor’s trees beautify our city, clean our air, and provide substantial and sustained stormwater benefits. We have approximately 52,000 street trees and park trees (in mowed areas) and have around 5,000 more sites that are suitable for planting. I am proud to have lead the effort to fully fund our Urban Forestry and Management Plan. We now are planting 1000+ trees a year and have put all street trees on a regular pruning cycle.