Managing storm water, including dry weather flows, presents many unique challenges. In contrast to traditional point source discharges, storm water discharges exhibit extreme variability in flow rates, flow volumes, and water quality, even within a single watershed or storm event. This variability, along with unique economic, technical, and legal issues, presents significant barriers for managing storm water and enhancing local water supplies. This report is a supplement to the “Clear Path” report, summarizing the key developments that have occurred since 2013, including development of the State Water Resources Control Board’s “Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Storm Water,” or STORMS program. Through the STORMS program and other actions, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is taking actions to optimize the management of storm water in California. For example, the State Water Board is working with the California State University of Sacramento Office of Water Programs on a report to identify and eliminate barriers to storm water capture and use. Yet these actions are not enough, and storm water permittees, industry, municipal water agencies, and other stakeholders can provide valuable insight to the State Water Board. To this end, CCEEB’s Water Quality Task Force provides six recommendations that are intended to assist the State Water Board in planning for sustainability, focusing on collaborative, creative solutions, and directing resources most efficiently as to have the greatest impact.
The California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) convened a Water Quality Task Force in order to develop and advance proposals that can support the State’s ambitious goals for the waters and environment of California—that is, to improve water quality, increase recycled water use, augment stormwater capture, develop local water supplies, and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthering these goals will require planning for sustainability and a focus on collaborative, creative solutions, and will require agencies to focus resources efficiently so that they can have the greatest impact. This report is the Water Quality Task Force’s targeted policy recommendations for meeting those goals.