In this age of political polarization, some topics — even stormwater control — don’t require drawing lines in the sand or choosing sides. The answer is simple: Integrating gray and green infrastructure typically produces the most sustainable water management solution.

Finding the right mix is the key.

Many communities want multibenefit facilities that are functional and stimulate social interaction. However, in highly congested urban areas, tunnels and small-footprint treatment facilities provide the more feasible solution.

It’s up to water managers to solve the puzzle. Their responsibility is to, whenever possible, incorporate the two approaches into a single economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable solution.

Next page: Same goal, two approaches