The Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of the municipal stormwater programs in the San Francisco Bay Area representing 103 agencies, including 88 cities and towns, 8 counties, and 7 special districts. BASMAA focuses on regional challenges and opportunities to improve the quality of stormwater flowing to our local creeks, the Delta, San Francisco Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.
BASMAA was formed by local governments in response to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program for stormwater in an effort to promote regional consistency and to facilitate efficient use of public resources. The organization grew from the bottom up to focus on regional challenges and opportunities to improving the quality of stormwater runoff to the San Francisco Bay and Delta.
BASMAA was designed to encourage information sharing and cooperation, and to develop products and programs that would be more cost-effective done regionally than could be accomplished locally. In addition, BASMAA provides a forum for representing and advocating the common interests of member programs at the regional and state level.
BASMAA is a consortium of nine San Francisco Bay Area municipal stormwater programs.
Board and Committees
View BASMAA’s Bylaws and Policies & Procedures.
On January 28, 2021, the BASMAA Board of Directors approved a Resolution of Intent to Dissolve BASMAA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Official dissolution is expected in May 2021. The reasoning for dissolution was primarily two-fold:
- Several BASMAA member agencies had internal challenges to participating in a non-profit organization.
- The number of regional challenges and opportunities for which BASMAA would develop and manage a regional project has dropped significantly and it does not appear that there will be a significant increase in such projects in the near future.
The BASMAA Board of Directors also agreed that after dissolution, the information sharing and permittee advocacy functions of BASMAA would be continued informally via a Steering Committee and Subcommittees. This arrangement will continue if and until the need for regional projects and programs increases and the appropriate form of a new arrangement or organization becomes clear.
In the meantime, the purpose of this website is to serve as an archive of information about BASMAA and its projects and programs, as well as a repository of work products that may be viewed, downloaded, and used.
In 1990, local governments across the country were told by the federal government to make a wheel (i.e., stormwater management program). The federal government specified what the parts of the wheel should be made of, when and how to make it, and why it was needed. In response, each local government started to make its wheel, but they found that making a wheel was not a simple process; it was going to take much longer and require more materials than they had anticipated. It might even require materials from places and sources that they were not aware of or did not have access to normally.
As each San Francisco Bay Area government got started on its wheel, it noticed that other local governments were also making wheels. First two, then three, and eventually nine local governments considered that while each was making its own wheel, it would be more cost-effective to make a cart, rather than reinvent the wheel. Hence, the idea for a regional alliance was born.
Over its history BASMAA has evolved from an organization that promotes talking to each other, to one that shares information and resources, to one that does things together, and finally to an organization that does things with agencies and organizations outside of BASMAA.
BASMAA as a Model
As part of California’s efforts to fulfill the requirements of the 1990 Coastal Zone Management Act amendments, the State convened 10 multi-interest technical advisory committees (TACs) organized by a range of issues related to water quality management including urban runoff, irrigated agriculture, pesticide management, rangelands, abandoned mines, and confined animal facilities. Each of the TACs produced a report including recommendations for the State to use in developing its coastal nonpoint source pollution control plan. The common themes in those TAC reports were:
- Volunteer cooperation
- Public education
- Management on a watershed scale
- Technical assistance
- Agency coordination
California in turn has made a commitment to using a watershed approach in managing and protecting the State’s water resources. A model alliance such as the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) is an example of how these themes can be implemented as part of watershed protection, and how we can move ahead together.