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City of San Diego Secures $37 Million to Upgrade Aging Stormwater System

To help upgrade and modernize the City’s aging stormwater system, Mayor Todd Gloria today joined officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State Water Resources Control Board in Mission Beach to announce $37 million in funding to reduce neighborhood flood risk, better prepare the region for increasingly intense rain events, and advance the City’s Stormwater Capital Improvement Program.


San Diego will receive a $32 million low-interest loan and $5 million grant as part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that infuses over $50 billion in U.S. water infrastructure. This investment will enable the City to upgrade storm drain infrastructure in South Mission Beach that dates back to the 1940s and is inadequately sized, resulting in regular flooding in one of the City’s most densely populated neighborhoods.


“Upgrading our aging stormwater system is vital to protect our neighborhoods and environment from the increasing threat posed by climate change and severe weather," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "This $37 million investment from the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help address longstanding flooding issues to protect homes, businesses, and our natural resources, ensuring a safer San Diego for all of us."


The funding is in conjunction with the $733 million investment commitment received in September 2022 for San Diego stormwater upgrades through the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) – a federal credit program designed to promote improved water infrastructure. The new $32 million State Revolving Fund loan has a 1.7% interest rate to accompany $5 million in grant funding – both of which will significantly reduce repayment costs for San Diego taxpayers.


“Improving stormwater infrastructure protects homes, businesses and our environment,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “President Biden promised to strengthen communities across the country by investing in water infrastructure. He delivered on that promise with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and now $37 million is coming to San Diego to reduce the risk of flooding in South Mission Beach.”


“San Diegans know all too well from recent flooding that the city’s aging stormwater infrastructure is no match for severe weather events,” said Rep. Scott Peters, 50th District. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are upgrading this infrastructure to protect residents and businesses from flooding and our beaches from contamination.”


The infusion of significant funding through the SRF and WIFIA programs will help modernize the City’s aging stormwater system, including over $235 million in projects in the works to bolster flood resilience and water quality improvements in the Chollas Creek watershed. Despite these major investments, the City still faces $1.6 billion in unfunded stormwater infrastructure upgrades citywide that are needed to reduce flood risk and prevent pollution.


“The historic infusion of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law dollars in recent years is helping California address the huge needs of our aging water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Joe Karkoski, Deputy Director of the Water Board and head of its Division of Financial Assistance. “Thanks to this federal commitment and the work of local partners like the City of San Diego, the state is leveraging this funding to launch major projects that will help us be more resilient in the years ahead. But while historic, we know that the BIL is a down payment on the investment that will be required to overcome climate change impacts and that the partnerships we’ve built will be just as critical as funding to the work ahead of us.”


The South Mission Beach project will replace or upgrade existing drainage systems to reduce flood risk and improve water quality from Bonita Cove on the north end to South Mission Beach Park. Highlights include:

  • A new stormdrain backbone and inlets along Mission Boulevard.
  • Sluice gates to prevent tidal waters from entering the storm drains.
  • Water quality basins at the northern and southern ends of the project.
  • Low-flow diversion systems to divert portions of runoff to the existing sewer system.
  • Repaving Mission Boulevard to provide additional runoff capacity.
  • Shoreline restoration in Bonita Cove and eelgrass planting.
  • New curb ramps and street repairs throughout the project.


Construction is expected to begin in spring 2025.



The Biden-Harris Administration and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. water infrastructure ever. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests more than $50 billion through EPA’s highly successful water infrastructure programs. With this funding, EPA, states, Tribes, and localities have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen and rebuild America’s water infrastructure. EPA is committed to ensuring that all communities, particularly disadvantaged and underserved communities, get their fair share of this federal water infrastructure investment. More information about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available at