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Smart Growth Award plan-policy nominee

Escondido runoff program protects county's water resources

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Since 2001, the city of Escondido has participated in, collaborated on and led portions of watershed stewardship activities that serve to protect water resources in San Diego County. In support of these efforts, the city's Jurisdictional Urban Runoff Management Plan (JURMP) provides a five-year compliance plan to minimize water quality and related environmental impacts associated with urban runoff pollutants.

As a component to a larger watershed-based program, this plan represents the third-largest municipal contribution to improving surface water quality in San Diego County. Although based on a municipal scope, the program's success benefits downstream water resources and the coastal beneficial uses along the shores of the Carlsbad Watershed.

As a public document with many technical elements, the JURMP was designed to integrate a variety of images, photographs, designs and concepts to perpetuate creative thinking and inspire innovative sustainable designs for improving long-term water quality protection. The JURMP also presents a multitude of environmental data in graphical form that communicates and depicts to the layperson how sensitive environments merge and integrate with urban function. A compact disc containing approximately 1,000 pages of water-sensitive urban designs (i.e., low-impact development) and best management practice strategies is also integrated to encourage the dissemination of this information and to demonstrate (by example) conservation of resources.

Key features of project:

¥ Created a benchmark compliance document (JURMP) for improving citywide compliance with state storm water management requirements. The JURMP was awarded the Outstanding Environmental Resource Document Award in 2008.

¥ Provided ongoing field monitoring support for an extensive 140-station array of urban runoff monitoring locations, evaluate the effectiveness of the monitoring program results annually, and conduct detailed follow-up investigations for illicit connections and illegal discharges to the municipal storm water system.

¥ Assisted the city with ongoing compliance training in water-sensitive urban design, low-impact development, pollution prevention and control, best management practice implementation, inspection and effectiveness, as well as tracking and reporting of environmental information via geospatial tracking in GIS.

¥ Prepared a comprehensive annual report that evaluates the effectiveness of the program, its components and its compliance activities on industrial, commercial, municipal, residential and fiscal scales.

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