Protecting Regional Watersheds

Protecting the Region's Watersheds

Everyone values clean water. The regional waterways offer valuable recreational and other services for residents and visitors. Along with our regional partners, we are committed to providing a safer environment for families and preserving the beauty of the region's natural resources.

As a sprawling urban area, much of the region is covered in pavement, which contributes to flooding, erosion, and pollution of waterways. The presence of Metro allows for compact development and helps to preserve open space that absorbs and filters rainfall and stormwater runoff.

Reducing Stormwater Runoff

Extreme weather events-such as flash floods-pose a significant and increasing risk to the region. We are working to reduce these risks by managing the stormwater that falls on our properties.

Installing Green Infrastructure. Metro installs green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and native plants and trees, to reduce runoff that may cause flooding, erosion, and pollution elsewhere. We recently completed an assessment of the stormwater infrastructure at our facilities to identify opportunities to incorporate additional green infrastructure. In addition, we are implementing stormwater control measures by reducing impervious surfaces and capturing stormwater on-site.

Improving Resilience of Transit Assets. We are working to make our assets less vulnerable to extreme weather and protect the region's investments in our system. Recent projects include securing vent shafts, upgrading pumping stations, and improving interior drainage in Metrorail tunnels. Metro is also developing a comprehensive resiliency strategy to address future risks.

Reducing Water Use

Water is necessary throughout Metro operations: for washing buses and trains, for cooling stations and other facilities, and for supplying water to facilities. We are working to reduce our water consumption through activities such as replacing bus washing equipment, using captured rainwater to wash buses, and upgrading facilities. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, water use per vehicle mile was down 8% from FY 2014.

Water Use per Vehicle Mile

Water use is measured "per vehicle mile" at Metro because service expansions could lead to an increase in total water use, obscuring improvements in water use efficiency. Although we expanded service and logged more miles on buses and trains, our water use is not rising in proportion to operational growth.