Smart Growth for Clean Water: Helping Communities Address the Water Quality Impacts of Sprawl

Washington, DC (January 1, 2003)- Nearly 45 percent of our nation’s water bodies remain polluted, due in significant part to stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution linked to poor land use management. Communities across America are coping with the results of poorly planned, scattered, high-impact development, which consumes an ever-increasing share of our resources and contributes to water quality degradation in our rivers, streams, lakes, shores and groundwater.


The need to address urban and suburban runoff has led to new Clean Water Act Rrequirements for localities, like EPA’s Phase I and Phase II stormwater requirements, and Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) restrictions. As a result, comunities need innovative and cost effective approaches to meet these requirements and their local clean water goals.
Our report, Smart Growth for Clean Water, identifies five smart growth approaches that can improve water quality: land conservation, waterfront brownfields revitalization, urban and community forestry, low impact development, and watershed management. It profiles several local partnerships across the nation that have successfully used these approaches to realize multiple environmental and economic benefits. The report also identifies specific barriers and solutions to the effective implementation of smart growth for clean water programs.
For more information, visit Smart Growth for Clean Water: Helping Communities Address the Water Quality Impacts of Sprawl.