The Detroit Stormwater Hub

The Detroit Stormwater Hub is a tool for individuals and organizations to understand, collaborate around, and track the city-wide progress and impact of Green Stormwater Infrastructure.

This website is the product of a dynamic partnership between the City of Detroit and a group of technical experts, nonprofits, community-based organizations and local institutions who all share a vision for the role of green stormwater infrastructure in Detroit. Together, we are committed to making a significant impact on the city, on the community, and on Great Lakes water quality.

The website is maintained by the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), with ongoing participation from community partners.

Our Story

In 2016, the community recognized a need for a tool that would bring together the collective expertise of the various groups working on GSI in the city of Detroit. This tool would help Detroiters understand, collaborate, and ultimately track the progress of GSI city-wide. It would be an accurate and trusted source of information developed from within the community.

With the generous support of The Erb Family Foundation, and the leadership of The Nature Conservancy, the Advisory Group came together to develop a city-wide knowledgebase (or “hub”) to act as a centralized project database, provide a platform for sharing resources, and facilitate collaboration between the city and the community.

Following the initial ideation phase of the project, DWSD became an enthusiastic supporter, committing time and resources to manage the website, host the map and database, and ensure this was a tool that the community could continue to use into the future. With DWSD’s support, the project grew into the map and knowledgebase that ultimately became the Detroit Stormwater Hub.

Shared Goals

The City of Detroit, in partnership with local businesses and the nonprofit community, is committed to sustainability and to working collectively to manage stormwater. Green Stormwater Infrastructure is the solution that achieves both of these goals.

Excessive stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots, and rooftops during major rain or snow events can cause flooding and make the City’s combined sewer system overflow, which includes both the stormwater and sanitary sewage, polluting our rivers and lakes. DWSD has made significant investments to address these overflows and has been able to stop 95% of the untreated sewage from entering the Detroit and Rouge Rivers using stormwater retention basins and other traditional methods.

However, the remaining 5% of untreated sewage that makes its way into the rivers is the most difficult and potentially the most expensive to address. To solve this problem, the city and the community are turning to GSI, like bioswales, rain gardens, and green roofs, that catch and filter stormwater. Using native plants that act as natural filters, GSI reduces surface flooding by slowing the movement of water into our neighborhood  sewers and channeling it into the ground. This helps prevent our sewers from overflowing and keeps our rivers healthy—all the while creating beautiful natural spaces in the city.

Together, the partners behind the Detroit Stormwater Hub aim to:

  1. Increase awareness of existing GSI practices throughout the city of Detroit

  2. Build community support around GSI solutions

  3. Advance coordination and implementation of GSI practices throughout the city

  4. Demonstrate the success and impact of GSI in our community

Supporting GSI in Detroit

The Detroit Stormwater Hub enables and supports our collective effort to encourage and implement GSI throughout the city of Detroit. The Detroit Stormwater Hub is comprised of:

  • GSI Projects: Locations, images, and information for GSI projects throughout the city of Detroit. Green infrastructure examples and project information can be accessed through the map and project pages

  • GSI Knowledgebase: GSI best practices, stories, educational resources, and tools designed to provide our community with a comprehensive body of information to support GSI work in the city of Detroit