8C: Water Quality + Resiliency
Foundational to all efforts to enhance regional waterways is improving water quality, and water quality is primarily determined by stormwater runoff throughout the watershed. With state climate scientists projecting increasing precipitation volatility, including more intense storm events, the health and beauty of our streams will be even more strongly tied to public policies that reduce, slow, and clean stormwater runoff. Support local, community, and watershed-level efforts to protect water quality, promote green infrastructure, and sustain water resources.
Value to the CommunityWater quality is essential for safe water-based recreation like boating and swimming. Improvement of stream banks and introduction of green infrastructure can improve the aesthetics of communities while improving stream health and wildlife habitat and helping mitigate flooding and erosion.
Value to the Hospitality IndustryWithout improved water quality, efforts to activate the White River and its tributaries into defining elements of the Indy experience will not realize their full potential. It would reduce the contributions of such efforts to define the Indy brand and mitigate Indy's deficit in outdoor experiences, which reduces destination appeal.
- December 2023. DigIndy is on Track for Completion. DigIndy Tunnel system is designed to capture and hold sewer water runoff when it rains so that it has time to be processed at a treatment plant before being pumped back into the waterways. The system is comprised of six tunnels, four of which are complete. On average, about five to six billion gallons of sewage is released into the river, and this project aims to collect 97- 99% of it, improving water quality for public enjoyment and potential economic development.
- June 2022. White River Rock ramp Opens. The rock ramp, an innovative type of dam that is safer for people and allows aquatic species to migrate, opened. The rock ramp replaces the failed Emrichsville Dam and provides for Indy's emergency water intake pumps.
- June 2023. White River Dig Indy Tunnel Opens. The entire White River deep rock tunnel opened, eliminating direct combined sewer overflows into the White River. Work is also complete on two tributaries--Eagle Creek and Pogues Run--and continues on two more: Fall Creek and Pleasant Run. When complete, the system will eliminate more than 95% of overflows into Indy's streams.
- February 2022. White River Report Card process launches. As a follow-up to the White River Vision Plan, a watershed-scale report card is underdevelopment, measuring indicators of land, water, and community health.
- January 2021. Central Indiana Water Study Completed. The Indiana Finance Authority has completed a water supply and demand study for central Indiana, projecting a significant increase in water demand and tightening of current water surpluses, both concentrated in growing Hamilton County.
- Partnerships Under Development