SB 790 - Stormwater Resource Planning Act

Finally, some good news for stormwater in California. On October 12, 2009, the Stormwater Resource Planning Act, also known as SB 790, was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. SB 790 creates a new framework encouraging California municipalities to address the stormwater issues in a new way. It encourages municipalities to manage stormwater for beneficial uses such as augmenting water supply, preventing floods, mitigating stormwater pollution, creating green space and enhancing wildlife habitat.

SB 790 will also impact energy use in California. When cities are able to harvest rainwater locally they decrease the energy – and greenhouse gas emissions – required to transport water across vast distances across the state and beyond.

SB 790 is a critical bill that moves state policy toward viewing stormwater as a resource rather than just seeing it as an expensive problem to be managed. The old “gray” infrastructure choice of paving over cities and turning rivers into concrete ditches is not the only option to manage stormwater. The passage of SB 790 encourages alternative, innovative solutions.

Although TreePeople does not usually sponsor bills, we believed SB 790 to be the right bill to address stormwater management and we thank Senator Fran Pavley for her leadership.

With our partners, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the City and County of Los Angeles, TreePeople has demonstrated the success of harvesting rainwater at several large and small demonstration sites in Los Angeles. Our latest project, at our headquarters in L.A.’s Coldwater Canyon Park, features a cistern that holds a .25 million gallons of rainwater. This cistern is filled from last year’s rains and supplies landscape irrigation for an entire year.

Supporters Include:
  • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Association of California Water Agencies
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • Planning and Conservation League
  • Natural Resource Defense Council
  • California Coastkeeper Alliance
  • Trust for Public Land
  • Santa Monica Baykeeper
  • Heal the Bay

Read about SB 790 news coverage on KPCC.

Read about SB 790 coverage in the LA Times.