You don’t have to wander far around WEFTEC 2018 to encounter some reference to green infrastructure (GI).

Described by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing wet weather impacts that provides many community benefits,” GI represents a departure from single-purpose gray stormwater infrastructure designs.

While that historical approach focused on conventional piped drainage and water treatment systems that move urban stormwater away from the built environment, GI designs reduce and treat stormwater at its source, while delivering a range of environmental, social, and economic benefits.

WEFTEC attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about those myriad benefits through a series of activities and updates taking place during this year’s conference.

For example, during the week leading up to WEFTEC, the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program hosted a 5-day training and exam course for the national certification of GI construction, inspection, and maintenance workers.

Green leaf growing

Watch a video about last year's Service Project.

Last Saturday also witnessed the 11th annual WEF Community Service Project, hosted by the WEF Students and Young Professionals Committee. This year’s project was held at the Treme Community Recreation Center, where volunteers built a large bioswale to alleviate existing drainage issues on the site.

Against the backdrop of New Orleans and its vulnerability to weather extremes, several other technical sessions, workshops, facility tours, and special events also will explore different GI efforts as key components of urban resilience.

Several representative examples can be found in the city’s broad-reaching Gentilly Resilience District, which won $141.2 million from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Competition in 2015 for a combination of efforts to reduce flood risk, slow land subsidence, and encourage neighborhood revitalization in some of the city’s most flood-prone neighborhoods.

For example, one of these projects, the Mirabeau Water Garden, is the focus of Wednesday’s Session 524, Does This Green Look Good on Me? Tools for Green Infrastructure Selection. The session covers the approach taken by the City of New Orleans to quantify the return on investment from GI and flood mitigation projects in that area.

Other WEFTEC 2018 offerings range from the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans Sustainable Design Tour, which will make three site visits throughout the city to locations where different strategies are employed to help control urban flooding, to Tuesday’s Session 415, Green Giants: Case Studies of Successful GI Projects, an annual session in the Stormwater Congress that highlights successful implementations of GI designs from across the U.S. and abroad.


Green Infrastructure Events 

National Green Infrastructure Certification Program Update (Session 242)
Monday, 4:30 – 5:00 p.m., Booth 1737, Hall C.


Green Giants: Case Studies of Successful Green Infrastructure Projects (Session 415)
Tuesday, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m., Room 343.


Does This Green Look Good on Me? Tools for Green Infrastructure Selection (Session 524)
Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Room 342.

About WEFTEC Now

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WEFTEC Now features timely coverage of major events leading up to, during, and after the conference. This resource will become an enduring record of past WEFTEC conferences as well as provide notice of upcoming events and opportunities.

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