Standardized Reporting for Water Quality Monitoring Programs

Standardized MS4 Reporting Project
Lead Agency SCCWRP
Technical Lead Steven Steinberg
Key Words: regional comparability, standardized reporting, water quality index

In June, 2014, SCCWRP entered into a contract with the State Water Resources Control Board to interact with stormwater managers from around the state to identify the types of information they utilize (or would utilize if they had it) for both short-term and long-term decision making. As a part of this project, several SMC members were interviewed, including:

  • California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region
  • California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region
  • County of Orange, OC Public Works
  • County of San Diego Stormwater Management Program
  • Los Angeles County Flood Control District
  • Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
  • San Bernardino County Flood Control District
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • Ventura County Watershed Protection District

Based upon these findings, to assess data availability relating to the desired information and to develop a prototype “stormwater dashboard” for reporting this information along with needs and recommendations for implementation, project updates were provided to the SMC in December 2014, March 2015, and September 2015.

Status and Recommendations:

Although the project for the State Board is not yet complete, two emerging recommendations which can provide the SMC with direction are clear. First, there is a significant need for development of standardized stormwater indices to be utilized in the reporting and assessment of a stormwater program’s effectiveness in meeting objectives. This is a topic already under consideration by the SMC and for which it can provide important leadership. While standard assessment approaches and indices are available to address permit components relating to some water quality objectives (e.g. physical and chemical objectives) other aspects including, for example, the effectiveness of inspection or public education programs are not. A common aspect of these program components is to strengthen the capture and analysis of the spatial component of these activities.

The second issue identified is a need for standardized data. The SMC program already obtains many such data in standard formats across the region, providing a good basis for developing and demonstrating standardized reporting tools via a stormwater dashboard interface. Extending data types to address additional aspects the assessment and reporting of program effectiveness is a valuable next step. The SMC database is potentially the best available data platforms upon which to develop both the data structures and index calculations necessary for effective stormwater program reporting dashboard that provides both the current state of the program and tools which can streamline and optimize the annual reporting process associated with individual program requirements.

6.2.1    Project Related Publications

No project related publications are available during the 2014-2015 reporting term.