Securing funding for stormwater projects and programs is one of CASQA’s top priorities.
Unlike all other water resources (e.g., drinking water, wastewater), the vast majority of stormwater programs in California lack a dedicated funding source. Meaning, there are no rate payers to support these regulated and vital community services. The primary barrier to dedicated, local funding was the passage Proposition 218 (1996), which requires a two-thirds vote of the electorate to approve a fee or charge for any non-exempted fee. As stormwater permits originated in the early 1990s, most communities were not able to establish a stormwater utility prior to the passage of Proposition 218.
Local communities therefore must rely upon their General Fund – the same source of funding for law enforcement, fire, paramedics, parks, street lighting and libraries. Funding a significant utility through the local General Fund is not sustainable, particularly for communities with limited resources.
Even if local communities were to secure a dedicated local source of funding, local communities alone cannot provide the resources needed to reshape our urban landscapes. The State of California has a significant role to play.
CASQA is working diligently to identify solutions for local funding, as well as advocating for investment at the statewide scale. The Funding Subcommittee is leading many projects to support and advance these goals. To engage with the leaders in this field, we encourage you to participate.
To navigate the complex landscape of funding stormwater projects and programs, CASQA has developed resources to assist local communities