The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure recently awarded Kansas City Water’s Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure projects their Envision Platinum award.
These projects were specifically engineered to cut combined sewer overflows and improve water quality in the project region – which includes 744 acres of watershed flowing to two combined sewer outfalls.
Sustainability in infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular and gaining momentum in North America and Kansas City is very keen to lead the way for others to follow.
“People everywhere are worried about crumbling infrastructure,” said Terry Leeds, director of KC Water. “This award demonstrates that Kansas City is a leader in meeting our immediate and long term infrastructure challenges while maximizing the return on investment that our customers must make in the federally mandated Overflow Control Program.”
The Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure sustainability achievements were noted by John Pruss, Burns & McDonnell’s director of water program management and program management leader for the Overflow Control Program. “Envision is an important sustainability evaluation tool for the program,” said Pruss. “Through the application of Envision, project teams can more effectively implement true sustainability across the entire life cycle of a project with dramatic improvement in the performance and resiliency of our infrastructure across the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. This practice will transform the way infrastructure is designed, built and operated, providing long-term benefits for the community as a whole.”
Hopefully, many cities will follow suit and aim for more sustainable water infrastructure in the next few years.
The trend towards integrating both sustainable and resilient design into infrastructure management planning is growing and will help communities as they adapt to changing conditions and natural events.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kansas City skyline by Brent Flanders via Flickr Creative Commons License