Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin Project: Integrated Stormwater Management

Date / Time:
Wednesday, Sep 17 1:20pm to 1:50pm
Grand Ballroom E
Track / Session:

Through its funding programs, the state requires agencies to integrate flood and water resources management. Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD)'s Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin Project (Project) in Orange County, CA demonstrates how integrated stormwater planning can result in integrated funding with multiple benefits. The Project will manage runoff and storm flows, improve water quality, reclaim water supply for non-potable purposes, and establish a recreational trail. Two basins will be constructed adjacent to Canada Gobernadora Creek on approximately 32 acres. The upper basin will be subdivided into a series of smaller, vegetated wetland cells to treat urban runoff and low flows. The lower basin will capture and store larger storm flows. The Project will protect the downstream Gobernadora Ecological Restoration Area (GERA) by reducing erosion and sedimentation.

This presentation will highlight this $20 million Project as a supreme example of the state’s goal to integrate project funding, planning, and implementation. In 2005, the Project was included in the South Orange County Integrated Regional Watershed Management (IRWM) Plan and awarded $2.5 million in Prop 50 funding. In 2012, an additional $5million was recommended for funding by Prop 1E. The Project is a result of partnerships with Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC (RMV), the County of Orange (OC Watersheds), and Orange County Parks (OC Parks), among others. Local funds were provided by the stakeholders for the following components: RMV-land, Orange County Parks-regional bridge and trails, and SMWD’s General fund and Community Facilities District bond.

The presenter will describe the multi-faceted project and the benefits of integrated planning. The intent is to share this success story as an example of true integrated stormwater management.

Primary Speaker:
Don Bunts, Santa Margarita Water District
Donald H. Bunts, Chief Engineer Mr. Bunts has over 32 years of experience in the environmental engineering field, including the master planning, design and construction of multimillion-dollar municipal water and wastewater facilities. In addition, Mr. Bunts has successfully completed a number of alternative deliver projects that have resulted in substantial time and financial savings to the owners. His experience includes master plans, facility plans and design of water reclamation plants, wastewater treatment plants, water treatment plants, solids handling facilities, water/wastewater pump station plans and pipelines. Prior to beginning public work Mr. Bunts had clients that include city and county governments, water districts and private entities throughout California, Arizona and Texas. Prior to becoming Santa Margarita Water District’s Chief Engineer, Mr. Bunts was one of the founders of a consulting engineering firm that began operation in 1996 and ran this endeavor until 2012. During this time the firm became recognized leaders in providing innovative solutions to project challenges in the water and wastewater field throughout the south west and had the distinction of implementing the largest number of recycled water retrofit projects in the southern California area. He is a graduate of Cal State Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil/Environmental Engineering. He has served on the board of directors of the California Water Environment Association and the American Water Works Association.
Supporting Speaker 1:
Joey Soto, Soto Resources