Stormwater Goals

Think Blue San Diego works to achieve the following goals to build, maintain and modernize efficient stormwater infrastructure that lays the foundation for safe, sustainable and thriving communities throughout the City of San Diego.

Improve & Protect Water Quality

Stormwater runoff enters storm drains UNTREATED, and that runoff collects pollutants from properties and streets and carries them into local waterways. The City’s Stormwater Department helps protect our local waterways from that pollution through actions like street sweeping, inspections and water-quality monitoring.

Safeguard Neighborhoods from Flooding

Did you know that the City’s massive stormwater system is designed to reduce the risk of flooding in our neighborhoods? It takes regular, proactive maintenance – such as clearing channels of trash and debris and inspecting and cleaning pipes – to keep runoff flowing to local waterways and ensure public safety.

Modernize Stormwater Infrastructure

The City of San Diego’s stormwater system consists of over 47,000 infrastructure assets – storm drains, pipes, channels, levees and pump stations. The system has been repeatedly modernized over the past century as the city’s population swelled and today needs $2.1 billion in upgrades to serve future generations.

Prioritize Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure systems help bolster the City’s capacity to manage stormwater and achieve environmental benefits. Green infrastructure – which filters and absorbs stormwater where it falls – can be woven into a community at varying scales, from a rain barrel against a house to a row of trees along a major street.

Revitalize Our Waterways

The City of San Diego’s population growth over time has resulted in increased pollution that puts our local waterways in distress. Restoring and revitalizing those waterways by implementing the best science and technology available will reduce the impacts of pollution, urbanization and a changing climate.

Capture Stormwater for Reuse

Stormwater reuse, also known as harvesting, is the collection and storage of stormwater for its eventual reuse. This is a growing practice in the United States as a way to address rising water demands as population rises because it helps bolster local water supply.

Benefits of Clean Stormwater

  • Improves Water Quality: Safe, clean water is essential for the health of our residents, visitors and environment.
  • Creates Flood-safe Communities: Protects neighborhoods from flooding and property damage.
  • Restores/Revitalizes Natural Spaces: Helps protect and preserve San Diego’s most precious natural resources.
  • Bolsters Water Supply: Stormwater is a valuable and untapped resource that can be harvested for local use.
  • Strengthens the City: Creates more sustainable, resilient and vibrant neighborhoods.
  • Brings Community Together: Local partners and community leaders work together to ensure clean water and clean beaches.