STORMS Publications

STORMS frequently produces reports and technical guidance as a result of project outcomes or contract funds.

Below is a table of published documents, reports, and technical guidance created by STORMS staff, adjacent agencies, or stormwater non-governmental organizations.


STORMS Publications

Title/Description Publication Date
SCCWRP Report: Evaluating Potential Methods to Quantify Stormwater Capture
In response to one of the worst droughts in California’s modern history, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) issued the Recycled Water Policy (Resolution 2013-003) asking staff to incorporate stormwater capture and use or reuse into future State Water Board programs. As part of the resolution, staff has been tasked with estimating the total volume of captured stormwater, a fundamentally challenging task in a state as diverse as California. An important first step, this report identifies and critically evaluates six separate methods that could be used to quantify stormwater capture for different components of water resources infrastructure.
California Drywell Guidance Research and Recommendations
Drywells are stormwater management best management practice (BMP) infiltration devices that capture and infiltrate stormwater and incidental dry weather runoff into the unsaturated zone above the groundwater table. The lack of drywell siting design and consistent regulatory oversight was identified as a barrier limiting the implementation of drywells in some regions in the 2018 report Enhancing Urban Runoff Capture and Use. This project was intended to address these technical issues. As drywell usage has continued to increase due to the drought conditions created by global warming, the State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Boards has identified a need to for this guidance document to continue the usage of this effective infiltration tool while also being protective of California’s water resources and public health.
Staff Report: Discussion and Recommendations to Address Zinc in Urban Receiving Waters
Stormwater runoff from municipalities, industrial facilities, and construction sites is a source of pollutants and contributes to water quality impairments in developed areas of California which are further exacerbated by effects associated with climate change (e.g. drought, forest fires, flooding). After releasing the 2015 report “Zinc Sources in California Urban Runoff,” the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) reached out to the State Water Resources Control Board to consider a statewide source control approach to address zinc contributions from tires. STORMS convened a workgroup consisting of representatives from CASQA, the International Zinc Association, and the United States Tire Manufacturers Association to identify potential approaches to address zinc exceedances and make recommendations to the State Water Board.
2018 Staff Report: Eliminate Barriers to Funding Stormwater Programs and Identify Funding for Stormwater Capture and Use
The greatest challenge to enhancing capture and use throughout the state is funding. Municipalities are required to address and control urban stormwater runoff under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and the cost of compliance is a major issue among the regulated community, environmental advocacy groups, and Water Boards. Current approaches to funding municipal stormwater programs and projects are varied and generally not effective to meet regulatory requirements. This report reviews existing supplemental financial resources that are likely to be familiar to many municipalities, such as low interest loans and grants; as well as unique and more creative funding opportunities, such as public-private partnerships and performance-based infrastructure programs. In addition, the document also presents several developed recommendations to facilitate the State Water Board’s support of funding stormwater programs.
2018 Final Report: Enhancing Urban Runoff Capture and Use
STORMS first project was to assess barriers associated with stormwater capture and use (note that funding as a barrier was addressed in a separate report. As population growth, water demands, and water import costs increase, the State has sought to further incentivize local water management. Thus far, capture and use has focused on supporting water supply through either capture and tank storage for direct use or for recharge of useable aquifers. The State Water Board seeks to promote stormwater as a valuable resource; however, increasing active capture of urban runoff faces several barriers. This report identifies both key projects and barriers associated with justifying, funding, and administering urban runoff capture and use projects.
Draft Final Report: Quantitative Methods that Support Reasonable Assurance Analysis for California's Alternative Compliance Framework
A finite amount of new alternative compliance pathways (ACPs) 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. This project identified topics for future studies including BMP treatment effectiveness and the need for data tools to support adaptive management.
2017 Staff Report with Recommendations for Incorporating Open Data Concepts and Collaborative Activities for the Stormwater Program
One of the four goals identified in Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water (STORMS) is to implement efficient and effective regulatory programs. To help achieve this broad goal, the STORMS unit initiated the Storm Water Open Data Project to increase the flow (amount, quality, and accessibility) of data and information useful for storm water management from the State Water Resource Control Boards’ existing data collection system. This Staff Report provides recommendations to the Water Board Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and Office of Information Management and Analysis (OIMA) to incorporate open data concepts and collaborative activities for the Storm Water Program at the State Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards.


Additional Stormwater Resources

Title/Description Publication Date
Guidance for Obtaining Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4) Compliance Costs
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.
EPA EFAB Report: Evaluating Stormwater Infrastructure Funding and Financing
Current stormwater funding mechanisms and public education initiatives are not sufficient to confront the significant growing needs across the country. This report authored by the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) presents several action-oriented recommendations to begin to alleviate the issue.
BMP Performance Monitoring Data Compilation to Support Reasonable Assurance Analysis
This project was initiated to address uncertainty associated with flowthrough BMP performance. The project resulted in the collection of BMP performance data from permittees throughout the state and the International BMP Performance Database.
Guidance for Stormwater and Dry Weather Runoff CAPTURE at Schools
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.