DWR Release Report: Stakeholder Perspectives – Recommendations for Sustaining and Strengthening IRWM

The California Department of Water Resources has released a report based on extensive input from IRWM Practitioners and other Stakeholders on the actions needed to foster the long-term future of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM).

Entitled: Stakeholder Perspectives – Recommendations for Sustaining and Strengthening IRWM, the report outlines the successes of IRWM to date, its future, and Stakeholder visions for sustaining and strengthening IRWM.

As of December 2016, approximately $1.3 billion in State grants have been matched by $4.2 billion in local and regional investments resulting in IRWM plans and approximately 840 integrated projects throughout the state.

The report reflect that the future of IRWM is dependent on the continued investment and support from federal, State, and local agencies and California Native American Tribes as well as increased public recognition and appreciation of IRWM. The report also notes that IRWM regions can serve as the primary “building blocks” for integrated water management at larger scales. Additionally, due to the collaborative nature of IRWMs, IRWMs can potentially serve as a suitable forum and framework to help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies achieve integration and sustainable groundwater management.

The report outlined Stakeholder visions and needed actions for sustaining IRWM. These actions include:

  • Improved alignment with government policies, regulations, and programs;
  • Strengthen practices to meet regional and statewide water management challenges;
  • Improve services by DWR to better meet the needs of IRWM regions; and
  • Communicate value to increase understanding about the nature, value, and successes of IRWM among the public, elected representatives, and resource management professionals.

The report is available on the California Department of Water Resources website and can be accessed here.