Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Green Streets & Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Urban development traditionally involves replacing natural landscapes with solid pavements and storm drain systems - causing increased amounts of polluted stormwater to flow directly into local streams. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), however, uses plants and soils and techniques such as permeable pavers to mimic natural watershed processes. This helps to capture stormwater and infiltrate it, to create healthier environments. Benefits include:
Landscaped areas and pervious surfaces capture runoff, reducing the quantity of pollutants flowing into local creeks. Runoff and pollutants flow directly into local creeks via storm drains.

  • Added beauty to local streetscapes
  • Bicyclist and pedestrian safety
  • Improved traffic
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased stored water supply
  • Reduced local flooding
  • Wildlife habitat

Low Impact Development

With so many benefits, green stormwater infrastructure is a priority for state and local water quality agencies, including the Authority and its member agencies. Municipalities are integrating Low Impact Development (LID) designs into new and existing public spaces. These designs minimize impervious cover and store/treat stormwater similar to pre-development site conditions. The implementation of LID reduces the amount of urban runoff and pollutants draining into creeks.

All local municipalities are required to develop Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Plans to incorporate GSI features into new and existing drainage infrastructure on public properties and rights-of-way, including streets, storm drains, and parking lots. See our member agencies' GSI plans below.




City of CampbellGreen Stormwater Infrastructure PlanJuly 16, 2019
Los GatosGreen Stormwater Infrastructure PlanAugust 20, 2019
Monte SerenoGreen Stormwater Infrastructure PlanAugust 20, 2019
SaratogaGreen Stormwater Infrastructure PlanAugust 21, 2019

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Handbook

The Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program developed countywide guidance to municipal staff on how to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure features into public streets, parking lots, and park retrofit projects (see Green Stormwater Infrastructure Handbook Part 1 and Part 2).

Hacienda Avenue

An example of a local award-winning green street in the City of Campbell is the reconstruction of Hacienda Avenue from Winchester Boulevard to Burrows Road. This redeveloped one-mile stretch of Hacienda Avenue (Winchester Boulevard to Burrows Road) features 63 biotreatment areas, street trees, and bike lanes. View a map of other local public projects that use green stormwater features.

More Information

See how green stormwater features help our community. Take a video tour of local features and learn how you can incorporate some of these features into your yard and garden. 

Take a tour of local green stormwater features in this video: