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Planning for a Greener Future: Creating a Sustainable Stormwater Action Plan (SSWAP) for Your Community

What is a SSWAP?
A SSWAP applies sustainability to stormwater management practices for development and redevelopment to improve the water quality of waterways within a community. A SSWAP offers substantial benefits to the community and environment through reducing maintenance burdens, addressing flooding and erosion problems through best management practices, and protecting and restoring watershed health.

Getting the Ball Rolling in your Community
Stormwater management is a critical piece of the puzzle for a community to become truly sustainable. The first steps are to clearly define goals for your community and identify stakeholders from a variety of community groups early on and include them in the development of a SSWAP.

Real-Life Example: Fort Worth’s Sustainable Development Task Force
In January 2009, the Fort Worth City Council approved a resolution to create a Sustainable Development Task Force (SDTF) to produce a Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP) for the City. The SDAP’s goal was to facilitate responsible management of community resources, including stormwater infrastructure, to meet the needs of today’s community as well as future generations. The SDTF was comprised of community leaders, and Freese and Nichols was recruited as a member for our expertise in sustainable stormwater management practices. 

The SDTF’s overall efforts include addressing the three key areas of development to be discussed in the SDAP: citywide, neighborhood and building levels. The SDTF worked on initiatives for the development community. Among elements that were addressed include initiatives for resident/employee services and City operations. The SDAP for citywide development was generated through a focused, three-month effort. Upon completion, the SDAP incorporated sustainable development into all facets of the municipal structure.

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