The State of California now recognizes the importance of incorporating storm water as a potential resource in a region’s water portfolio. Historically, storm water was thought of as a public risk (e.g., flooding) and a source of water quality impairment. Traditional approaches for storm water focused on diverting storm water into the storm drain system which ultimately and efficiently moved said water away from populated areas; the State is now supporting watershed-based approaches where storm water and dry weather runoff can yield benefits beyond flood control, such as water supply, water quality improvement, and habitat enhancement. To incentivize use of storm water, the State of California has linked storm water resources planning to state funding. Storm water and dry weather runoff capture projects seeking funding from any California bond act approved by voters after January 1, 2014 must be included in a Storm Water Resources Plan, which meets California Water Code.
Regional water planning has a long history in the Mojave region. In 2005, agencies in the Mojave service area, that share a common concern for the area’s water resources, met and agreed to develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). The Region’s first IRWMP identified, defined, and established strategies to capitalize on all water management opportunities that were present at that time or would become possible in the Mojave Region in the future. Since that time the IRWMP has acted as a forum for regular collaboration. The IRWMP is a living document and the regional objectives as well as strategies to improvement water management are regularly updated. The IRWMP was last updated in 2014.
This Mojave Region Storm Water Resource Plan (SWRP) is an extension of the IRWMP process and is meant to bring an integrated and watershed-based approach to managing and creating benefits from storm water. This SWRP is regional and multi-agency. This SWRP includes all components required by the Water Code and will be submitted to the IRWM group. This SWRP will help entities in the Mojave Region identify, prioritize, and implement storm water projects.