Multiple Benefit Projects

Stormwater projects, whether small-scale or regional, can be designed to provide benefits related to the following categories:

  • Improve water quality
  • Augment water supply
  • Support flood control
  • Protect environmental systems
  • Enhance communities
  • Provide climate change resiliency

Multi-Benefit projects are encouraged by many state agencies as part of incentives or conditions for funding. Senate Bill 985 stipulated that, to qualify for state funding, runoff capture projects must be part of a regional Stormwater Resource Plan (SWRP) that describes methods for implementing projects with multiple benefits across a defined watershed. The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted SWRP Guidelines that dictate the contents of such a plan.

Similarly, the California Department of Water Resources incentivizes integrated regional water management (IRWM) by offering grant opportunities as state bonds become available. IRWM is a collaborative effort to identify and implement water management solutions on a regional scale. The objectives are to increase regional coordination, reduce conflict, and manage water to maximize social, environmental, and economic objectives. Runoff capture projects that provide multiple benefits related to improved water quality, flood management, restored and enhanced ecosystems, and more reliable surface and groundwater supplies can qualify for these grants.

Funding Matrices Spreadsheet: Benefits and Strategies

CASQA has developed matrices to match various funding sources with possible benefits and strategies.

  • Funding vs. Benefits Matrix: Users can approach this matrix with a particular benefit in mind (i.e., “I want to achieve this benefit [e.g., reduce pollutants in runoff]”), and read which funding sources (marked “yes”) might be applicable. Several notes are provided to describe and qualify the yes-no-maybe decision logic.
  • Benefits vs. Strategies Matrix: This matrix pairs potential benefits with stormwater project or program strategies that involve providing/improving drainage, improving water quality, and/or using stormwater as a resource. Descriptions are given for how a particular strategy can provide a particular benefit.