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Storm Water Program - STORMS

STORMS - Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water

Chapter 1. Executive Summary

Storm water(1) runoff from municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), industrial facilities, and construction sites can be a source of pollutants and has contributed to water quality impairments in developed areas of California. Additionally, population growth, climate change and the current drought are increasing pressure on the state to take immediate action and manage its water resources more effectively. These challenges represent an opportunity to redefine how California utilizes and values storm water as a water resource. The State Water Board Resolution No. 2009-0011 (Policy for Water Quality Control for Recycled Water) identified the goal for California to increase the use of storm water over use in 2007 by at least 500,000 acre-ft/year by 2020, and by at least one million acre-ft/year by 2030.

Well-conceived storm water management actions provide multiple benefits for California communities, including improved water quality, increased water supply, increased space for public recreation, increased tree canopy, enhanced stream and riparian habitat area, as well as many other benefits. Accordingly, this proposed Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water (Storm Water Strategy) identifies the goals, objectives, and actions needed for the State Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Water Boards) to improve the regulation, management, and utilization of California’s storm water resources.

In June 2015, a multidisciplinary team (composed of engineers, scientists, and geologists from the Central Coast, Los Angeles and San Diego Regional Water Boards and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board)) created a Draft Proposal to Develop a Storm Water Program Workplan and Implementation Strategy (Draft Proposal) included as Appendix C. Executive Sponsors from the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles Regional Water Boards and the State Water Board provided guidance on the effort; in addition to a collaborative process with stakeholders representing environmental advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, municipal storm water permittees, industrial and construction storm water permittees, and the general public. The Draft Proposal was used to develop this Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water (Storm Water Strategy) with the purpose of: (1) providing clarity on the goals the Water Boards intend to achieve; (2) identifying objectives and projects that will enable the Water Boards to achieve the goals; and (3) proposing ways to measure progress.

The overarching intent of the Storm Water Strategy is to establish the value of storm water as a resource in California and encourage its application to beneficial uses. The evolution of storm water management may be accomplished through a watershed-based evaluation of needs and a coordinated implementation strategy. Because a number of regulatory and non-regulatory interests overlap in their efforts to manage storm water, development of a coordinated and complementary approach will benefit both interests. Successful collaboration with the regulated community will require evaluation of compliance approaches, storm water capture strategies, and funding options for capital improvement projects. This Storm Water Strategy also aims to establish financially sustainable storm water programs through additional grant funding and elimination of funding barriers.

This Storm Water Strategy identifies a ten year vision and mission with a description of outcomes anticipated (Table 1). Goals, objectives, and proposed projects are also identified (Table 2) to successfully implement the mission and achieve the vision. Finally, the Storm Water Strategy includes a phased implementation approach based on internal and external resources to accomplish the proposed projects.


Storm Water Strategy Vision

Successful implementation of the Storm Water Strategy will result in a future where storm water is sustainably managed and utilized in California to support water quality and water availability for human uses as well as the environment.

Vision

Storm water is sustainably managed and utilized in California to support water quality and water availability for human uses as well as the environment.


Storm Water Strategy Mission

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

Mission Statement

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


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