Gonzalez G., Mosley, A, and Stephenson, K. December 2016. An Analysis of Stormwater Utility Incentive Programs in the Chesapeake Bay. Watershed Science Bulletin.Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD.
Urban stormwater is the fastest growing source of nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay. Municipal governments are implementing stormwater utilities to meet Bay requirements and to finance local stormwater infrastructure needs. Encouraging private landowners to retrofit existing developments with additional stormwater controls is critical to making progress toward reducing stormwater impacts because the large majority of land in most localities is controlled by private landowners. This analysis describes the financial incentive programs used by stormwater utilities in the Chesapeake Bay region to encourage private landowner adoption of stormwater controls. Incentives to adopt stormwater control practices are compared to the costs to install and maintain stormwater control practices. The analysis shows that fee credit programs provide limited financial incentives to property owners. The paper concludes with a discussion of other incentive programs that stormwater utilities have implemented to boost adoption rates.