Stormwater Compliance Program Development

Host: City of Soledad
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation, Climate Mitigation, Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation, Infrastructure Development – including Broadband, Water Management
Skills Needed: Project Management, Research, GIS Mapping, Technical Writing,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid or On-site preferred.

Service Needs & Plans

The agency to be served by the CivicSpark Program is the City of Soledad in Monterey County, California. Soledad is a small city in the center of the agricultural region of the Salinas Valley. Staffing of the City government is similarly small, with a total of only 20 full-time employees (not including public safety personnel). The City is subject to a July 2013 Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted post-construction stormwater control requirements for certain types of new and redevelopment projects as part of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) compliance requirements. The City has a need to develop a more formalized Stormwater Compliance Program for which City staff can be trained to administer the Program. The City does not have the in-house capacity to develop a Stormwater Compliance Program.

The City of Soledad is situated in an important confluence of the Arroyo Seco and Salinas Rivers, which are an essential component of the groundwater replenishment of the Forebay Aquifer and downgradient infiltration of the subsequent seawater-intruded basins. Management of the basin has shown progress, but more conservation of water supply is needed. As climate change continues to exert greater pressure on developing new water supplies while demands increase, stormwater becomes an increasingly important source of supply, particularly for the purpose of groundwater replenishment. The City of Soledad is entirely dependent on groundwater for its water supply. The City is growing and has ambitiously planned for growth through its General Plan – Housing Element and supporting specific plans for new residential neighborhoods. A sufficiently organized Stormwater Compliance Program will contribute to the planning for water resources needed to support future population growth.

Project Description

The development of a Stormwater Compliance Program as a CivicSpark project is intended to achieve the following goals:

  • An established, organized, functioning, transferrable, and enduring Stormwater Compliance Program for the City of Soledad.
  • A data- and metrics-based recording and reporting system for water quality regulatory compliance
  • A foundation for incorporating stormwater into water supply planning through data collection and GIS-based mapping
  • Enhancement of public understanding of stormwater management as an environmental concern and responsibility and its role in water supply

The CivicSpark Fellow will play a key role in developing and kickstarting a Stormwater Compliance Program. Key elements of the role include the following:

  • Develop a Citywide Stormwater Control Plan
  • Develop a Stormwater Facilities Operation and Maintenance Plan
  • Assist in Planning for Project Development and Support Project Design
  • Develop City-specific Standards for Construction Stormwater Management
  • Follow State Guidance for recorded Stormwater Treatment Facility Maintenance Agreements
  • Develop Procedures and Protocols for Transferring Maintenance Responsibility
  • Develop Procedures and Protocols for Maintenance Record Keeping & State Inspections

The conclusion of a CivicSpark Fellowship in the City of Soledad will greatly enhance the City’s capacity to address mandatory regulatory requirements promulgated by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The goals of the fellowship go beyond addressing mandatory requirements by creating a set of administrative practices and procedures that are transferrable to City staff for carrying forward the Program. Living work products such as water quality databases and GIS mapping platforms will continue to be utilized for broader planning purposes including development of new water supplies. Utilization of stormwater as an enhancement to current water supplies is a resiliency strategy yet to be pursued in Soledad.

Desired Skills

A CivicSpark Fellow in Soledad should be comfortable in a quiet small community surrounded rural agricultural space. Although supervision and mentoring resources will be provided throughout the term of the Fellowship, the Fellow should possess some capability of working independently and taking initiative at appropriate times. The City of Soledad is not an environment where the Fellow would be expected to work in large teams. The Fellow’s educational background should be sufficiently grounded in science related to the environment and water, in particular. Although some amount independence is anticipated, the personality of the Fellow should still be friendly, respectful, and engaging is group settings.

Organization & Workplace Highlights

The members of the staff at City of Soledad City Hall are a family. The small size of the staff and the long tenure of people in key positions is part of a welcoming environment for employees at all levels. The relationship between staff and the City Council is cordial, respectful, and productive. The City as a whole and all individual staff members are committed principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring, promotional advancement, engagement with the public, and serving residents and businesses. The workplace setting and organization are conducive to a CivicSpark Fellow’s success and overall experience while serving at the City. As small as the City organization is, Soledad is still a full-service City with the opportunities to engage in a broad variety of municipal management experiences that will connect to the Fellow’s mission.

Community Highlights

The setting of Soledad offers a broad array of potential life and work experiences with a combination of small urban, suburban, and rural elements within and around the City. From the specific standpoint of the stormwater management, the geographic setting includes a newly managed groundwater basin through Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation and the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The City serves as both the water and wastewater service enterprises which facilitates the integration of stormwater management seamlessly. Other elements of the local geography and topography offer the opportunities to incorporate stormwater infrastructure which may be defined by the implementation of the Stormwater Compliance Program.

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