The initiatives, identified by the Infrastructure Working Group (IWG), are issue-driven.

Wisconsin Rainfall Project

  • Leader: Daniel Wright, IWG Co-Chair
  • Start date: May 2020

This project will produce updated rainfall statistics (such as IDF curves) for current conditions as well as for future climate conditions. This project was awarded several grants to begin work. The project will be completed, and quantitative rainfall data will be available for distribution, in 2021. This presentation (pdf) provides an overview of the project.

Wisconsin Infrastructure and Climate Change Survey

The WICCI Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) surveyed Wisconsin public infrastructure managers, planners, elected officials, and consultants during the fall of 2020 to confirm IWG’s research priorities and products were in line with infrastructure managers’ needs across the state. The survey report provides a baseline assessment of the state of practice in Wisconsin municipalities, including issues ranking and barrier identification. Lastly, the survey produces data to support grant funding for climate change resilience planning for Wisconsin municipalities.

Top research priorities identified by survey respondents include:

  1. Developing technical data such as statistically based descriptions of future precipitation and temperature and other climate effects for use in design
  2. Summarizing and distributing information on infrastructure design approaches
  3. Using and measuring nature-based solutions
  4. Providing guidance on design approaches for culvert and hydraulic opening size taking into account climate change
  5. Work to initiate a state compact that provides the policy framework, adaption metrics and tools that Wisconsin municipalities can adopt to jump start climate change planning
  6. Develop courses on climate change/adaptation/mitigation for municipal employees
  7. Summarizing best practices on how to communicate climate change to generate buy-in

The survey results will be presented to agencies and professional groups in the spring of 2021.

The Carbon Content of Construction Materials

  • Leader: Rob Montgomery, Infrastructure Working Group Chair

For this project, the IWG partnered with UW-Madison researchers to describe a research program (pdf) for characterizing the carbon content of Wisconsin construction materials. Partners will communicate this program to potential funding sources.

Northern Wisconsin Stream Crossings

To be drafted.

Potential Initiatives

The activities of the Infrastructure Working Group will continue through 2021 and possibly 2022 or beyond, depending upon the interest of the working group members. Activities could include:

  • Identify and communicate how climate change impacts can be incorporated into infrastructure sustainability methods and rating systems such as the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision program.
  • Identify runoff analysis and modeling approaches that will make best use of rainfall data from the Wisconsin Rainfall Project in calculating future discharges and using risk analysis approaches as an adaptive management strategy.
  • Identify construction project specification and bid selection processes that will promote use of local and lower-carbon content materials to reduce carbon footprint.