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Advancing Collaborative Approaches to Regional-Scale Stormwater Management
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The City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG) is pursuing an integrated project to advance implementation of regional-scale stormwater management in San Mateo County.

Regional-scale stormwater management includes large-scale regional capture facilities as well as programmatic implementation of smaller, distributed-scale stormwater facilities such as rain gardens or rain barrels/cisterns. The goal of the project is to catalyze countywide collaboration on regional-scale stormwater management to address key drivers, create a framework under which collaboration can take place, prioritize and conceptualize opportunities for regional-scale stormwater management, and explore innovative funding and financing approaches. The key drivers include limited resources, existing stormwater infrastructure deficiencies, water quality regulations and protection, climate resiliency, beneficial use of stormwater, and equity and community engagement. The panel will focus discussions on how this approach was developed and could be adapted to other regional entities facing similar funding challenges and the increased need for stormwater quality and resiliency investments. Four interrelated project components are being implemented through different consultants/partners and will be explored in the panel, as summarized below.

  1. Building the Business Case for Regional-Scale Stormwater Management (Geosyntec Consultants)
    1. Drivers and Objectives: Establishes "What" can be achieved through regional-scale stormwater management by defining key drivers and associated objectives. The Drivers and Objectives feed into the prioritization analysis in 2.a, below for evaluating opportunities based on core drivers/objectives.
    2. Business Case: Establishes "Why" C/CAG's member agencies would benefit from countywide collaboration. The Business Case is informed by the prioritized opportunities identified in 2.a, below focusing on potential benefits provided by those opportunities.
    3. Collaborative Framework: Establishes "How" C/CAG's member agencies can collaborate across jurisdictional lines on regional-scale stormwater management.
  2. Prioritizing and Conceptualizing Regional-Scale Stormwater Management Opportunities (Craftwater Engineering)
    1. Identify and Prioritize Opportunities: Building C/CAG's Countywide Stormwater Resource Plan to prioritize multi-benefit regional-scale stormwater management opportunities throughout the county that address the Drivers and Objectives listed above.
    2. Project Concepts: Five new project concepts are being developed, showcasing high-priority stormwater capture opportunities that directly address the identified Drivers and Objectives.
  3. Credit Trading Marketplace Analysis (American Rivers/Corona Environmental): This project component evaluates the potential for a stormwater credit trading marketplace in San Mateo County to allow private developers or C/CAG member agencies to buy and sell stormwater management credits to increase rates of implementation and progress toward achieving the identified Drivers and Objectives, from 1.a., above.
  4. Innovative Funding and Financing Analysis (WaterNow Alliance): This project component evaluates innovative funding and financing options for all scales of stormwater management, from large regional capture facilities to small-scale rainwater harvesting rebate and incentive programs, including key considerations to maximize flexibility for implementation on public and private properties.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Kelly Havens
  • All Authors: Kelly Havens, Merrill Taylor, Caroline Koch, Jeff Odefey
  • Title: Advancing Collaborative Approaches to Regional-Scale Stormwater Management
  • Event or Publication: CASQA 2021
  • Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources
  • Citation: Geosyntec practitioners will present at California Stormwater Quality Association Virtual Annual Conference on October 26-27, 2021.
  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 3:00-3:55 p.m. PST
  • Location: California
  • Publication Type: Platform Presentation