Stockholm, Sweden is well-known worldwide as a well-managed and clean, beautiful and livable, environmentally friendly, and sustainable city.
The reason that Milwaukee’s water management experts admire Stockholm is for its all-inclusive and comprehensive water planning.
Stockholm treats its water as one large system rather than compartmentalizing it into areas like wastewater and stormwater.
WUWM reports on Milwaukee’s current way of managing water:
“Usually, we look at the front end of drinking water – where is the water coming from. As opposed to the back end — where is the wastewater going and how do we treat it before it goes into the system and then again turns into drinking water later,” Kehl says. “But they’ve done an outstanding job of integrating all of those contributing factors.”
In the U.S., she says New York City and Philadelphia are becoming water management models. Kehl calls Philadelphia’s stormwater management system one of the most forward-thinking in the country.
“They can capture more than the first inch of stormwater. Milwaukee aspires to capture only the first half an inch,” she says.
However, other experts disagree somewhat and believe that Milwaukee is an example for other cities in the Great Lakes region.
After all, the city does have good stormwater capture systems in place and has made a considerable effort to clean up problem areas.
All the local experts agree that the city needs to be planning for the future and aiming for a more comprehensive approach to water management planning.