San Luis Obispo Stormwater Resource Plan

Successfully managing stormwater can provide multiple benefits including protection from floods, health of our rivers and creeks, and conservation and sustainability of water resources. 

Stillwater Sciences developed a Stormwater Resource Plan (SRP) for the San Luis Obispo Creek watershed that provides guidance on how to manage stormwater to avoid the potential impacts of urban runoff on receiving waters and conserve water resources for human and ecological benefits through innovative efforts involving stormwater capture and groundwater recharge.

The San Luis Obispo Creek watershed drains approximately 84 square miles, with the City of San Luis Obispo at its geographic center. The creek and its tributaries are used by south-central California steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss, listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act), although only few areas remain with high-quality spawning and rearing habitat. Although potable water is supplied almost exclusively from out-of-basin reservoirs, groundwater is used extensively for agriculture and much of the watershed overlies a designated groundwater basin.

In developing the plan, Stillwater Sciences identified existing water-quality and flooding problems arising from urban runoff, identified key aquatic resources meriting high levels of protection or restoration, determined feasible areas for stormwater infiltration and groundwater recharge, and determined and prioritized management actions (both capital projects and other non-capital actions) to address identified problems of existing and likely future aquatic-resource degradation.

The plan was presented to the San Luis Obispo City Council in July 2017 and formally adopted by the City at that time.


Location: San Luis Obispo, California

Clients: City of San Luis Obispo Natural Resources

Project Manager: Derek Booth

Project Lead(s)

Derek Booth
email | profile

Work Products

View the gallery of imagesimage # image #


San Luis Obispo Creek as it runs through the park in the city center. View the gallery to see more photos.

View the gallery
image # image #