Rain dance

The San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center is located at the terminus of one of the dozens of watersheds across San Diego County that are threatened by nonpoint source pollution from urban development. Photo: P2 Photography

The 133-page test claim against the California Regional Water Quality Control Board highlights a fundamental flaw in how the federal government regulates and funds local programs. The first of its kind statewide, the claim indicates how frustrated stormwater managers are with unfunded mandates. Image: Commission on State Mandates

“The [NPDES] permit tells us too much what to do and doesn't let us decide what's most cost-effective,” says Drew Kleis (second from left), program manager in the City of San Diego's stormwater department, with colleagues on a green roof at the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center. Photo: P2 Photography

More than a dozen cover watersheds about 3,000 square miles (or 75% of San Diego County), with eight major streams discharging into the Pacific Ocean at the southwest corner of California. Image: City of San Diego

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