The California Integrated Regional Water Management Program (IRWM) is intended to promote and practice integrated regional water management to ensure sustainable water uses, reliable water supplies, better water quality, environmental stewardship, efficient urban development, protection of agriculture, and a strong economy.
Funding for the IRWM program was authorized with passage of two propositions: PROPOSITION 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002 and PROPOSITION 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Costal Protection Act. The new Proposition 84 Guidelines are still being developed by California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR). For more information on recent changes please see SB X2 1
In order for a project to be eligible for this funding, it must be part of a region, covered by an IRWM Plan, which has been accepted and approved by the State for the IRWM grant program. For acceptance guidelines see www.grantsloans.water.ca.gov/docs/IRWM_RAP_Final.pdf.
The Kern River watershed is covered by two proposed IRWM Plan regions, Kern and the Southern Sierra. The dividing line between the two regions is the Kern/Tulare County line. Neither region has been accepted by the State yet. Both have submitted their application, which were due 4/29/09.
Formally known as the Tulare Lake Basin Portion of Kern County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, the Kern IRWMP is a collaboration of water agencies, community and government representatives, municipal and special districts, environmental groups, businesses and a variety of other interested parties. The Kern IRWMP seeks to preserve the economic and environmental health of Kern County communities through comprehensive and efficient management of its water resources. See www.kernirwmp.com.
The Kern IRWMP is in the process of developing its Plan for submission to the State. A draft of the plan should be ready by August of 2009 and completed by November.
For an outline of the plan see: http://www.kernirwmp.com/documents/PlanOutline(DRAFT).pdf and
For a draft of the objectives see the minutes of the February 17th Stakeholders meeting (updated objectives will soon be on the website): www.kernirwmp.com/Meeting%20Materials/MeetingMinutes02.17.09.pdf
The Kern IRWMP is divided into 8 sub-regions, with the Kern River Valley being in the Mountains/Foothills sub-region. The sub-region’s representative on the Kern IRWMP Executive Committee is Bill Miller, of the North of the River Municipal Water District, with Dave Prince as alternate. Bill is also Co-Chair of the Executive Committee.
Update – Projects for Inclusion in the Kern IRWMP Plan (prepared on 7-30-09 by Tom Anderson
136 projects have been submitted and the prioritization process is starting. Each of the eight sub-regions will prioritize its projects. Each sub-region will submit its top five projects to the Executive Committee by 5 pm on August 21st. The Executive Committee will then prioritize the 40 projects received. The final top 40 projects, will be voted upon by the “participants,” on August 31st. Those 40 will be the initial projects submitted with the Plan for consideration by the State. Other projects can be submitted later. The list of projects can be found at KERN IRWMP Project List
Prioritization - sub-region representatives will be in touch shortly to schedule sub-region meetings in order to prioritize the projects. The project prioritization matrix can be found on Kern IRWMP’s website http://www.kernirwmp.com
Projects Impacting KRV - my review of the project list indicates 10 projects related to the KRV, as follows:
Action Needed - competition for projects within a sub-region and finally between sub-regions will be intense. If one or more of these projects would benefit you or your organization write a letter indicating the project name and a short statement of “mutual benefit” based upon the objectives and priorities found in the prioritization matrix. Send your letter to both Executive Committee Co-Chairs, Bill Miller and Bill Taube, at
, with a copy to the appropriate sub-region representative, who can be found on the Kern IRWMP website, using the same email address.
More will be posted to California Integrated Regional Water Management Program in our General Issues Forum from time to time.