Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Stormwater (Stormwater Strategy, STORMS)

STORMS' mission is to lead the evolution of Stormwater management in California by advancing the perspective that Stormwater is a valuable resource, supporting policies for collaborative watershed-level Stormwater management and pollution prevention, removing obstacles to funding, developing resources, and integrating regulatory and non-regulatory interests.


Upcoming Seminars

Past Seminars

  • August 2020
  • July 2019
  • November 2018
    • Ocean Friendly Gardens: Taking the Watershed Approach to Protect Local Water Resources
  • October 2018
    • Nature-Based Stormwater Projects: From Microbial to Human Communities - October 1, 2018
  • June 2018
    • Watershed Solutions through Data Sharing, Collaboration & Education - June 14, 2018
  • May 2018
    • Talking Trash with Clean River Alliance founder Chris Brokate - May 9, 2018
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • January 2017
    • Stormwater Management Using Customized Science Based Software - January 30, 2017
  • December 2016
    • Enhancing Urban Development with LID Designs in Sacramento - December 6, 2016
  • September 2016
    • Transforming Gray Space into Green Space: Integrating Green Infrastructure into our Built Environment - September 26, 2016
  • July 2016
    • Using Deep Infiltration and Drywells for Groundwater Recharge - July 8, 2016
  • May 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
    • Real-Time Cloud-Based Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Stormwater Control

In response to the recommendations made by the State Auditor in 2018 (Report 2017-118), the State Water Board released guidance for the Regional Water Boards on how to obtain adequate, consistent and comparable information on stormwater management costs local jurisdictions incur and for the Water Boards to base decisions on that information. This is a living document and may be subject to change.

Chapter 811, Statute of 2017 (Senate Bill 541, Allen) required the State Water Board to “recommend best design and use practices for stormwater and dry weather runoff capture practices that can generally be applied to all new, reconstructed, or altered public schools, including school grounds.” The following guidelines provide insights for the selection, design, and implementation of practices that can reduce runoff and pollutants that flow from school properties by minimizing impervious surfaces, increasing green space, promoting infiltration, and treating runoff on site.

A finite amount of new alternative compliance pathways (ACP's) are being established in municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits that focus on implementing BMPs throughout a watershed, as well as using green infrastructure to achieve compliance with water quality objectives. However, there is little empirical data on the long-term efficacy of these new approaches, which may create concern amongst regulators attempting to enforce permit conditions. To improve confidence in the application of these tools, the following document was developed which summarizes existing compliance strategies that are applied in California to demonstrate water quality protection and watershed-based stormwater management, describe the watershed tools typically applied (models, including data inputs and outputs, assumptions, and uncertainties), and provide MS4 programs with insights for using these tools throughout various stages of implementation.

(Updated 05/04/2022)

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STORMS Contacts

Stormwater Planning Unit
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street, 15th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814


Stormwater Planning Unit Staff

Stormwater Planning Unit Chief