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Project 1d: Develop and Establish a Monetary Value of Storm Water

Priority:
Medium
Assessment:
Critically important, achievable with significant barriers

Prerequisite:

Create a Water Boards-supported framework establishing a monetary value of storm water in volumetric terms as an additional source of local water supply as well as its value to water quality. Collaborate with the appropriate agencies and stakeholders to institutionalize values of storm water.

Project Objective:

Create a Water Boards-supported framework establishing a monetary value of storm water in volumetric terms as an additional source of local water supply as well as its value to water quality. Collaborate with the appropriate agencies and stakeholders to institutionalize values of storm water.

Scope:

Develop a storm water value framework that will establish a method for calculating the net unit cost of storm water as a water supply source, as compared to the current and projected cost of imported water. The method will consider: (1) groundwater basin-specific factors that will affect the cost of infiltration and extraction for potable use; (2) the cost offset for water quality protection; (3) the cost for imported water; and (4) other factors that influence the monetary value of storm water.

Upon completion of the value framework, evaluate mechanisms for multi-agency agreements that promote storm water capture and use projects. Identify and evaluate the pros and cons of each mechanism. Identify and evaluate legal hurdles and opportunities. The mechanisms could include Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) or Joint Power Agreements (JPAs) between municipalities and water agencies that address water rights issues, facilitate cooperative funding of storm water capture projects, and establish a crediting system or dedicated revenue stream for municipalities based on the volume of storm water recharged.


Background:

Many stakeholders commented that in order for storm water capture and use projects to gain traction, there needs to be an established framework for calculating the monetary value of storm water. The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Natural Resource Defense Council have both conducted focused studies to quantify the potential for storm water capture and use projects (Los Angeles and the Bay area, respectively); however, the effort to establish a monetary value has proven challenging and is driven in many cases by local conditions and agency needs. UCLA’s Luskin Center and the Pacific Institute have completed some preliminary work on the monetary value of storm water and are currently working to broaden the research on the economic value of storm water.

The SGMA may create a new mechanism for monetizing storm water through the implementation of groundwater sustainability plans. Restrictions on extractions implemented through sustainability plans may cause local groundwater markets to mature without impacting water rights. As markets develop, storm water use will be increasingly incentivized. A monetary framework developed within the next five years could support leveraging storm water as a resource when sustainability plans are adopted five to seven years from now.

Prerequisites:

None.

Products and Timelines:

2 Years: Prepare staff report outlining methods and results of economic value of storm water (or incorporate the results of other studies into Staff Guidance). Compile case studies (if available) and prepare and approve template MOA/JPA legal documents for municipality and water agency water crediting partnerships.

Phase II

Objective 1

Increase Stormwater Capture and Use through Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Approaches

Goal 1

Change the Perspective that Storm Water is a Waste or Hazard, and Treat it as a Valuable Water Resource

Project Information

Name Develop and Establish a Monetary Value of Storm Water
Start 2019
Completion 2023
Progress  
Executive
Sponsors
 
Lead Staff  
Support
Staff
 
Contract Information  
Performance Metrics  

NPDES Storm Water Facilities annual Performance Report





 
 

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