However, the growing threat of water scarcity and the desire to increase local water supply is changing the way that we manage stormwater in California.
While stormwater capture is helping many urban centers in Southern California reduce their reliance on imported water, it involves a number of challenges, including developing funding for retrofit of stormwater systems, removing urban pollutants from the stormwater, developing adequate recharge facilities, and developing flood protection plans.
The Potential for Urban Stormwater as a Water Supply
From the California Urban Water Agencies:
This white paper aims to inform the ongoing statewide dialogue by characterizing current urban stormwater uses and the opportunities and challenges associated with its increased capture to supplement California’s water supply.
Groundwater & Stormwater Management
From the Groundwater Protection Council:
Contaminated stormwater is a major source of groundwater and surface water degradation. Furthermore, land-development practices often create impervious surfaces that increase stormwater runoff and inhibit groundwater recharge.
A combination of approaches is needed to improve runoff quality and maximize quality recharge to ground water. These approaches include preventing the contamination of stormwater, minimizing impervious surfaces, segregating clean and contaminated stormwater, and applying best management practices (BMPs) that promote natural aquifer recharge and treat stormwater sufficiently before it is discharged to groundwater.