Informing, Improving, and Expanding Water Quality and Financing through Advanced Data Management

Executive Summary

Over the past three decades, billions of federal, state, and local dollars have been deployed to support water infrastructure projects and other programs that reduce point and nonpoint sources of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Evaluation of these programs often focuses on project effectiveness, in other words, whether or not a particular project resulted in the proposed objectives. However, there is an unrealized opportunity to conduct such an assessment Bay-wide, across multiple grant making entities that fund restoration and protection efforts, and from a financing perspective – examining not only the projects being invested in, but the decision making around how that money moves in the watershed. 

In order to improve water quality project grant making, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) asked the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland (EFC) to: analyze water quality projects to see if any trends emerged in terms of which project characteristics drive successful outcomes; identify any gaps in how funders collect evaluation data; and, recommend strategies for improving the impact of grant-funded programs and projects.

The full report can be found Click here