Bridging the Stormwater Capture Gaps
Seems like a simple solution to water shortage and stormwater contamination: just capture the stormwater and percolate it into the groundwater basin below. Right? But is it really that easy?
A common dinner party question in California in recent years is “Why don’t they just capture all that water that runs out to the ocean in wet years and store it behind dams or underground for later use?” In 2017, the answer still just isn’t that simple. Land for capture is expensive, there is no readily available funding for both construction and maintenance, stormwater may carry contaminants, and nobody is quite sure who the water would belong to once it is stored. Water utility agencies and stormwater agencies sometimes have missions that are independent at best and conflicting at worst. There are more barriers that need to be crossed and cross them we will, eventually.
The purpose of this presentation is to describe the barriers, or gaps, to successful stormwater capture and encourage attendees to look for bridges over those gaps while also building bridges between water utility and stormwater agencies to maximize synergy.
The majority of conference attendees have backgrounds in stormwater regulation and management. The speaker has over 30 years experience as a manager/executive for public water agencies in Southern California, and has worked closely with neighboring stormwater agencies on their complex compliance and funding issues. He has a reputation for building bridges between water and stormwater agencies. The expectation is to engage attendees in an energetic 2-way discussion of potential methods of bridging the gaps that prevent successful stormwater capture programs.
Some of the targeted topics to be discussed in order to provoke the generation of solutions by attendees include:
• The California Drought and the public’s new water ethic
• Proposition 218 workarounds and water rates
• Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation and how to plug into Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)
• Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) and other collaborative governance approaches
Norris Brandt, PE is a water resources consultant, primarily advising agencies on policy issues such as Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) formation and watershed collaboration. He is currently contracted as the Administrator for the San Juan Basin Authority in South Orange County. He has thirty years experience as a manager/executive for leading public water agencies in Southern California. His deep interest in water is rooted in his family history and fifty years of surfing in Orange County.