Water Smart Development Guidebook

    The Sonoma County Water Agency developed the Water Smart Development Guidebook  to provide Sonoma County land developers, city and county planning officials, and environmental regulatory agencies with a reference guide to avoid and minimize potential adverse impacts to water resources that can result from development projects. The guidebook provides guidance for the planning and design of residential and commercial developments for water resource related project elements. It is not the intent of this guidebook to establish enforceable regulations or permit requirements.


    Picture of parking lot landscape. Core subjects and scope of Water Smart Development Guidebook.

    3 Core Subjects and Multi-Objective Scope

    The three core subjects of this guidebook focus on ways to increase water conservation, increase water reuse, and reduce stormwater impacts. Commonly, these subjects are investigated and discussed as separate topics. This guidebook seeks to integrate these subjects within a single document to highlight potential areas of synergy and mutual benefit between topics. The multi-objective scope of this Water Smart Development Guidebook also supports several regional goals and initiatives, including: energy savings and sustainability initiatives, integrated regional water management, and flood management programs.


    Connection to NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit

    The Water Smart Development Guidebook also supports requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for discharges from municipal separate storm sewer systems for the applicable cities and urbanized areas within Sonoma County. Direct compliance with the Phase 1 NPDES permit requirements related to low impact development (LID) is primarily guided by the LID Technical Design Manual prepared by the NPDES co-permittees. LID is a planning and design strategy used to avoid and reduce potentially harmful impacts on water resources associated with stormwater runoff from land development. The co-permitttees document contains specific requirements and measures which may be required for some development projects. One intent of the Water Smart Development Guidebook is to complement the LID Technical Design Manual for discussion of stormwater management.


    Download the Water Smart Development Guidebook


    Additional Information

    For additional information regarding Water Smart Development or the Water Agency's efforts towards water conservation, water reuse, stormwater management, and flood protection, please check out the links below.


    Questions or Comments

    For any questions or comments regarding the Water Smart Development Guidebook, please contact us.