Interest in Public-Private Partnerships (or P3s) and Performance Based Contracting (PBC) for implementation of water quality and water resources projects has increased significantly of late in California.
There remain a significant number of questions (and misconceptions), regarding the types of P3s, applicability for various agencies, implementation requirements (administrative, financial, and legal), risk transfer potential, benefits and drawbacks. Key to understanding issues raised by these questions is the establishment of a basic common language. The 2018 national P3 Water Summit included a focused series of roundtable and panel discussions on stormwater P3s. Specific attention was given to California-specific perceptions of P3s, MS4 (and TMDL) and Industrial General Permit requirements, financial considerations, water resources benefits, and the administrative challenges of implementation (and generally, of stormwater infrastructure elements). Summit panelists from around the country provided insightful examples of successful programs and lessons learned, critically helpful to any agency contemplating a P3-type framework as an alternative approach to implementation (particularly multi-benefit implementation) and project delivery.