Project Funding

This section focuses on funding for projects or limited-duration programs. The funding information here is not intended to be ongoing or sustainable. These funding sources often come in the form of grants and loans, which typically must be accompanied by other (sustainable) funding in the form of matching funds, loan repayment plans or post-project operating and maintenance funding.

There are many types of best management practices (BMPs) that support runoff management. These BMPs can be implemented alone, or in series to form a “treatment train” where water passes through multiple devices, with each device targeting different types of contaminants. Some BMPs are small-scale, capturing and/or treating runoff from a single catchment, while others are larger, intended to capture and/or treat runoff from multiple catchments throughout a region. Certain BMPs qualify as full capture devices that appropriately collect and retain debris in accordance with the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Trash Implementation Policy. BMPs can also be referred to as Stormwater Capture Measures (SCMs). Select types of BMPs are considered low impact development (LID) or green infrastructure (GI).

Much design guidance today emphasizes projects that yield multiple benefits. These can be economic, environmental, and social. For example, a dry well could be installed in a catchment to alleviate localized flooding, while also reducing pollutant discharges and recharging groundwater. The list of potential benefits is long, including cost savings, habitat improvements, reduced pollution, public health, and improved landscapes.

To secure project funding, well-documented cost estimates are needed. Expenses incurred on projects will include those for planning, design, and construction, along with long-term maintenance and operations. Capital and maintenance costs for runoff management practices vary across regions, devices, design features, and project requirements. In many cases, bonds or other loans can be used to pay for larger up-front capital costs, which are recovered through rates over longer time periods.

Projects to manage runoff can qualify for grants and loans from a number of sources, including federal, state, and local government programs. Some sources target stormwater management practices and green infrastructure projects that also encourage one or more additional goals, such as ecosystem restoration, water supply, flood control, community enhancement, and climate change resiliency.