This page captures ongoing District agency activities that have been taken to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
The District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) identified climate change adaptation as one of eight priorities in DDOT's 2010 Sustainability Plan. In February 2013, DDOT released a Climate Change Adaptation Plan identifying strategies for ensuring that transportation infrastructure in the District can withstand climate change and extreme weather conditions projected for the Washington, D.C. region. The plan focuses solely on transportation, and was developed based on National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research and guidance.
The District has also undertaken efforts to prepare water infrastructure and reduce water pollution impacts that will be exacerbated by climate change.The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) is pursuing an integrated green/gray infrastructure approach to reduce combined sewer overflows into rivers and to capture rainwater in the D.C. region through its DC Clean Rivers Initiative. The first phase of the project is underway and involves constructing a massive underground tunnel system to control combined sewer overflows to the Anacostia River. DC Water and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) are also broadly deploying green infrastructure throughout the District to manage and detain stormwater on site. The District is using innovative financing strategies to upgrade stormwater systems and deploy green infrastructure solutions. DC Water used a century bond to finance upgrades to the stormwater tunnel as well as a $25 million, tax-exempt, Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) to fund the construction of green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff and improve the District’s water quality. To supplement investments in green infrastructure and stormwater management, DOEE also adopted new stormwater retention rules, which include a stormwater credit trading system that facilitates offsite retention and, because that extra retention can be sold as a credit, which creates incentives in other parts of the city to retain more than the legally required limit.
(Research last updated: September 10, 2018).