Take My Stormwater… Please! - San Diego Region Storm Water Capture and Use Feasibility Study
California Senate Bill (SB) 985, amending the Stormwater Resource Planning Act, requires public agencies to develop Storm Water Resource Plans (SWRPs) in order to assist in developing multi-benefit stormwater management solutions, in order to be eligible to receive grants for stormwater and dry-weather runoff capture projects under Proposition 1 and any future state bond measures. The County of San Diego and the San Diego County Copermittees prepared the San Diego Regional SWRP that lists and prioritizes projects that include stormwater capture and use projects. This plan was used to further a more comprehensive assessment of stormwater capture and alternative (beneficial) use opportunities and constraints for local water augmentation and recycled water in the Regional Storm Water Capture and Use Feasibility Study (SWCFS).
The County of San Diego, in coordination with a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is developing the SWCFS that provides an additional planning tool to integrate storm water capture and use with storm water and watershed management. The SWCFS uses a multi-step process designed to provide a regional analysis of the feasibility of planning, constructing, operating, and managing facilities that capture and use stormwater. The goals of the SWCFS include: quantifying the range of stormwater volume that could be potentially captured and stored on public lands and used; identifying the opportunities and constraints for a range of stormwater capture and uses; and, prioritizing the potential stormwater use alternatives on a near-, mid-, and long-term timeline basis. The methodologies used to quantify the stormwater volumes, develop costs and screen parcels can also be used for private parcels for new and redevelopment or industrial sites.
The outcomes of the SWCFS include several management tools relevant to regional and state-wide assessment of stormwater capture and use at the program and project level. These tools include a parcel screening analysis that provides managers with the identification of feasible sites for stormwater capture and use. This parcel screening assessment along with example projects in the SWCFS provides managers with a tool for the planning and implementation of stormwater capture and use multi-benefit projects. An additional outcome of the SWCFS that is relevant to the stormwater community is the prioritization process and findings of the eight stormwater capture and use alternatives. These findings can be used to help focus resources on implementing feasible near-term projects and overcoming constraints to move medium and longer-term alternatives and projects to shorter implementation timelines.
During the presentation, attendees will be engaged by posing question for consideration and encourage follow-up questions and comments during the question and answer period. These question will include: Are these findings different for your region? How could these tools be used to help with connecting the drops and finding opportunities for storwmater capture and use in your program? Are there tools and approaches that have had success that you can share? The participants will be further engaged by asking for the audience’s input on how constraints associated with an example project can be potentially overcome to move this project forward. The example stormwater capture and use project will be presented during the presentation with a list of associated constraints and opportunities. The attendees will be asked to use this list for the example to identify which opportunities could be used to overcome the constraints and move this example project forward. This will allow for direct audience engagement in understanding the tools of the feasibility study that may be used for considering stormwater capture and use in their stormwater program or project.
Stephanie Gaines is a project manager in the County of San Diego Watershed Protection Program. She is currently leading regional Stormwater Resource, Watershed Drainage and Storwmater Capture and Use Planning efforts for the County of San Diego.