SMC research and monitoring programs routinely lead to development of tools, methods and strategies intended to improve stormwater management practices across southern California and beyond. The following list of SMC publications, organized by topic area, includes links to peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and technical reports that describe the key technical products of SMC research and monitoring initiatives. For assistance, contact [email protected]

SMC Research Agendas

SMC Research Agendas are forward-looking documents that lay out the SMC’s key research priorities over the coming five years. Developed by an independent expert advisory panel, each Research Plan serves as a roadmap and a guide to help the SMC Steering Committee decide which projects to prioritize and fund each fiscal year.

SMC Annual Reports

SMC Annual Reports provide a summary of the SMC’s major progress and accomplishments over the past year. Stormwater regulated parties typically include the SMC’s Annual Report as part of the regulatory documents they submit to demonstrate compliance with their stormwater discharge permits.

Low Impact Development (LID)

Low-impact development (LID) refers to a series of engineered stormwater control measures – typically green infrastructure – designed to improve the quality of both wet- and dry-weather runoff. LID solutions are ubiquitous across Southern California, underscoring the SMC’s desire to optimize their placement, design, construction and maintenance.


Hydromodification is the phenomenon by which changes in land use – including development and redevelopment projects – trigger changes in runoff patterns, potentially causing erosion and other modifications to the physical environment. The SMC has invested heavily in developing strategies, tools and methods for protecting Southern California streams vulnerable to hydromodification.

Stream Condition Assessment

Robust evaluations of the condition of Southern California streams are a foundational component of improving and protecting watershed health. The SMC has developed numerous tools and methods for assessing stream condition, especially biological tools that rely on the condition of sentinel aquatic life to quantitatively score stream health. Management interest in the SMC’s approach to stream condition assessment has been so strong that some tools have been adapted and adopted for use in routine stream monitoring programs statewide.

Fecal Contamination

Fecal contamination is widespread in Southern California waterways during wet weather, even as managers’ ability to intervene effectively is hampered by a lack of understanding of where the contamination is originating. The SMC has invested in foundational work to characterize wet-weather fecal contamination in watersheds, and helped collect key regional data sets to confirm the contamination is from human sources.

Quality Assurance and Intercalibration

Stormwater toxicity testing is a foundational pillar of protecting receiving waters from contamination in discharges and runoff. The SMC routinely invests in regional quality-assurance and intercalibration exercises intended to ensure all laboratories that perform these tests are capable of producing high-quality, comparable results. SMC intercalibration projects are unique in that the work is performed on a regional scale using real-world scenarios. Participating labs are able to quantify the range of variability among their results, enabling all labs to work toward reducing variability and improving comparability in their testing practices.  

Stormwater Monitoring Programs

Stormwater monitoring programs are a core component of the day-to-day work of the SMC’s member agencies. The SMC has invested in developing best-practices guidance for how to design and administer these programs, paving the way for SMC member agencies to optimize the effectiveness of monitoring programs across Southern California.