Work With Us

Innovative Financing for Stormwater Infrastructure

Municipal governments face rising demands to install projects that reduce stormwater runoff and meet a broad set of water quality goals, while having a limited budget to do so. Innovation―for financing water infrastructure and tracking its effectiveness―is in desperate need to obtain the largest possible environmental benefit for each dollar spent.

A recent report by the Willamette Partnership and Storm and Stream Solutions outlines eight economic instruments stormwater managers can use to finance green infrastructure that will drive investment to the most effective outcomes.

The instruments include:Working with the market

  • Fee reduction vehicles (i.e., credits, rebates, discounts)
  • Subsidies
  • Insurance premium discounts/risk reduction
  • Land development project support
  • Permittee-responsible mitigation (offsets)
  • Credit trading
  • Mitigation
  • In-lieu fees


These instruments connect stakeholders such as regulators, property owners, and contractors in order to improve water quality. In addition to defining each instrument, the report shares insights from municipalities that have already used these approaches to finance, and provide incentives for installing, critical green infrastructure.

The report is the product of the 2016 fall dialogue of the National Network on Water Quality Trading, which brings together a diverse group of stakeholders focused on improving consistency and innovation in water quality trading. As part of the fall meeting of over 50 leading stormwater experts, Environmental Incentives facilitated a breakout session to help define protocols for water quality trading. We are excited to see the outcomes of the Network dialogue put into actionable steps that help stormwater managers improve the health of their community’s water resources.

Alongside the reports’ authors, EI’s stormwater experts are available to offer insight into using performance-driven approaches to improve the effectiveness of stormwater programs and budgets.

Written by Evan Branosky, Water Senior Associate



Discover the latest news, insights, and results from our team. From case studies to project narratives, the EI story continues.

All Articles

We can co-create lasting change.

We help our partners improve the performance of conservation and development programs.

Partner With Us