Communities in California fund stormwater management programs to prevent flooding and improve water quality. While stormwater management has been an important investment for decades, only a few studies have estimated overall municipal costs of stormwater programs and infrastructure in the state.
As part of ongoing work to improve tools for stormwater management in California, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Environmental Finance Center at Sacramento State (EFC at Sacramento State) compiled sources of existing, readily available data on reported stormwater budgets and expenditures to provide an improved estimate of existing activities. Using data from annual program reports published as part of stormwater permit compliance requirements, the study estimated a snapshot of annual spending based on identified reports for over 160 entities, including cities, counties, flood control districts, and port authorities.
The findings illustrate the difficulty in assembling costs that are published in varying ways, as well as inconsistencies in publicly available data. Current methods of reporting can be updated to increase accessibility and standardization. While posing additional work for some MS4 permittees, such updates can improve how data is used by local and state agencies.
The webinar will describe findings of the study and offer insights for improving future estimates of municipal stormwater management spending in California.