In the area of Water, our overall vision is more efficient use of potable water, better protection against floods and droughts, and waterways made cleaner through green infrastructure that reduces and cleans stormwater runoff.

Established at the confluence of the Connecticut and Park Rivers, Hartford has faced flood and discharge issues for much of its history. In the 1930s, the rivers were channelized, and a levee system was constructed to protect flood-prone areas.

Around the same time, the Metropolitan District Commission was established to manage the City’s sewers and drinking water. It operates a combined stormwater and sewer system. During periods of heavy rain, increased flow strains the system, resulting in untreated wastewater discharging into our waterways, which threatens health and the environment.

Despite the challenges, Hartford has improved water quality. Businesses are using green infrastructure, and residents can participate in a rain barrel program. Access to recreation on the Connecticut River has improved, and the zoning code creates riparian buffers and encourages low-impact development. The City has hired a green infrastructure team to advance these efforts.

Focusing on water quality, access, efficiency, and resiliency, this Plan addresses the future and the potential impacts of climate change. As our process of drafting and finalizing a Climate Action Plan gets underway, we can begin to diagnose some of the major issues that Hartford is confronting in the area of water.

Given this context, the 5 goals in the area of Water set forth in the Climate Action Plan are:

  • Goal 1: Reduce Discharge into Sewers and Waterways
  • Goal 2: Enhance Waterway Trails
  • Goal 3: Improve Water Efficiency
  • Goal 4: Manage Flood Risks
  • Goal 5: Improve Water Infrastructure Resiliency

Read about what you can do to conserve water.