Sustainability & Water

Additional water resources will be needed to meet the growing population and economy of the SCAG region. Sufficient water supplies are needed to meet these future water demands. In addition water quality and watershed management needs to be addressed.

Water supplies in the SCAG region come from a blend of local and imported sources. Water conservation, or efficiency, involves technological and behavioral changes that lower the demand for water.

Past Events:

Southern California Stormwater Meeting

In the midst of a historic drought and challenging regulatory orders that Southern California reduce the effects of stormwater pollution from the built environment, leaders agree that now is the time to act. That means designing, approving, and finding ways to pay for the stormwater capture projects we need that will also infiltrate water into our local groundwater basins and increase our water supply reliability in future years. A meeting was held on Friday, June 13, 2014, to discuss and develop practical strategies for overcoming the biggest challenges to stormwater capture.


There were three panels that discussed various topics pertaining to stormwater:

Watch the Videos

SCAG’s Water Planning Program

The Water Planning Program was concerned with the comprehensive management of water resources in the urban watersheds of the SCAG region. These resources include the use and reuse of imported and local water, the discharge of highly-treated wastewater, the conservation of water supplies, the reclamation of water supplies and the management of stormwater and urban runoff. Of special importance in this urban setting is the collaboration of local agencies to jointly plan and implement pollution control measures that protect the environment, are cost-effective and sustainable.

The Program recognizes a connection between water supplies and water quality and between land use, water quality and water supplies:

  • As water quality impairments lead to more extensive pollution controls in the region's watersheds, higher levels of water treatment will result in new, purer water for reuse.
  • With the increasing use of more compact land development designs, more extensive natural areas will create new opportunities for pollutant removal from storm flows and also encourage the conservation of stormwater by providing areas for infiltration.

The Program developed a series of reports for the Caltrans Environmental Analysis Section that relate stormwater management issues to the planning and implementation of the proposed major projects in the 2004 Regional Transportation Plan.

In addition, SCAG's Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) was updated in 2008. The Water Chapter of the RCP focused on themes such as meeting the region's water supply needs, the relationship between land uses and water quality, the important relationship between regional water reliability and water storage facilities, the continuing need for more water conservation, and the connection between agency collaboration, best management practices and cost-effective pollution control measures.

2008 SCAG Regional Comprehensive Plan Water Chapter​
EPA – Climate Ready Water Utilities Toolbox
Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs