RainCity Partnerships

Seattle, WA

The RainCity Partnerships Program (RCP) is a community-based public private partnership with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) at the City of Seattle. The program builds upon over two decades of work by SPU to prevent water pollution with nature-based approaches that deliver multiple benefits. RCP expands on the City’s foundational work with an intentional focus on building new avenues for collaboration in and with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), including immigrant and refugee communities. SPU’s work is guided by Shape Our Water, a community-centered project to plan for the next 50 years of resilient drainage and wastewater systems.

Project Targets

  • 25 acres of impervious area managed
  • 1 acre of riparian restoration
  • 12 or more community organizations mentored
  • 40% WMBE/MBE inclusion
  • Minimum of ten community-driven projects

RCP will pilot a community-based partnership (CBP). RCP will provide an integrated delivery method with at risk capital for GSI retrofits to existing impervious surface on parcels in priority drainage basins within the City of Seattle and will also deliver riparian area work adjacent to priority creeks and the Duwamish River. CIS serves as the Program Manager to source, fund, and develop projects that meet the community-based outcome goals with support and guidance offered by our public partner, SPU.

Anticipated Results

The RainCity Partnership will not only help to advance goals for stormwater management, but it will also support a wide range of other city policies (e.g., City of Seattle Green New Deal, One Seattle Climate Justice Agenda) by mitigating climate pollution and building resilience in a way that contributes to racial and social equity. 

The program will incorporate no less than ten community-driven projects, a minimum of 40% of the total workforce hours worked from priority hire zip codes, mentorship of at least twelve Minority Enterprise or Community Based Organizations, and an anticipated inclusion of at least 28% Minority or Women Enterprise firms.

Seattle Public Utilities

For the past two decades, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has been one of the nation’s foremost leaders in environmental protection through their progressive approach to implementing nature-based stormwater management, establishing a strong stormwater code that mitigates impacts from new and redevelopment, and building programs, such as RainWise that support private properties with retrofits to better protect water quality.


Seattle Public Utilities


2023 – 2026