Results of surveys such as A Greater Madison Vision can be complicated to follow. The Capital Area Regional Planning launched the survey last fall in an effort to plan for regional growth, and as one of more than 9,200 people who took it, I can attest that the survey alone was complex. The questions themselves got you thinking about several scenarios the future might hold.

Steve Steinhoff, CARPC director, laid out the results at last week’s Waunakee Village Board meeting. Perhaps his most interesting takeaway came at the end, when he talked about green infrastructure and the need for intergovernmental cooperation to reduce the volume of storm water runoff flowing in streams and rivers.

Steinhoff pointed out that the survey was conducted on the heels of last summer’s floods. Bridges in Cross Plains were out, creek beds at Pheasant Branch had been washed away, and in Middleton, businesses were flooded. Everyone knew someone affected by the flood.

This spring, snowmelt and heavy rains again caused local flooding on roads.

Many experts predict events like this will become more common as a result of climate change, so it makes sense to plan for them, and as Steinhoff said, “It’s not something one governmental unit can tackle.”

What this will look remains to be seen, but local governments should begin planning together. Likely, a directive on storm water reduction from CARPC to local governmental units won’t be popular. Together, local leaders should work on plans to prevent flooding as this region continues to grow.

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