Integrated Regional Water Management Grants (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM differs from traditional approaches to water resource management by integrating all facets of water supply, water quality, waste water treatment, and flood storm water management. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involves multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals and groups; and attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions.
In November 2002, California voters passed Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002 to fund competitive grants for projects consistent with an adopted IRWM plan. The grant program was run as a joint effort between the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board to provide both planning and implementation grants to IRWM efforts.
DWR has released draft guidelines for Proposition 84 and 1E grants that will improve water management throughout the State. The Proposition 84 and 1E grant cycles will provide at least $11 million to South Orange County over the next few years. The first round of grants is expected in the fall of 2010. Round 2 may occur in 2011, with Round 3 to follow in 2013. To be eligible for this grant funding, a project must be part of the IRWM Plan. Examples of projects that may be supported by these grants include water conservation programs, recycled water retrofits, infrastructure upgrades, pollution reduction activities, and habitat conservation and preservation.
On July 27, 2010 DWR released the Final Guidelines for the Proposition 84/1E IRWM Grant program. These guidelines are intended to establish the general process, procedures, and criteria that DWR uses to implement each IRWM Grant Program. DWR has a number of IRWM grant program funding opportunities. Current IRWM grant programs include: planning, implementation, and stormwater flood management. The Proposal Solicitation Packages (PSP) for the Planning grant is available from DWR at the state’s website. The Proposal Solicitation Packages (PSP) for the Stormwater Flood Management grant is available from DWR at the state’s website. The Proposal Solicitation Packages (PSP) for the Implementation grant is available from DWR at the state’s website
Complimentary grant funds will also be provided by Proposition 1E for storm water management and flood control projects. Proposition 1E authorized $300 million for the State’s IRWM grant program. Individual Proposition 1E grant applications must be consistent with the local IRWM Plan.
Call for Projects
The South Orange County IRWM Group is now accepting projects aimed at diversifying water sources by developing a variety of local opportunities to decrease the reliance on imported sources. Stakeholders may submit water management projects using our online project information form. Please submit project forms and questions to Marilyn Thoms.
For North and Central WMA’s, project forms are on the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) website at http://www.sawpa.org/. Please submit forms directly to SAWPA with a cc to Beatrice Musacchia the North Orange County and Central Orange County Project Manager if you would like your project included in our local plans. SAWPA is requesting project forms by October 1, 2012.
IRWM establishes a prioritization process to determine which projects best meet regions needs. The prioritization process is intended to be a transparent and defensible method that encourages the development and submittal of projects that are best suited to meeting the identified needs of the region. Project scoring was developed to rate projects on their ability to do the following:
- project readiness
- contribute to regional objectives;
- integrate multiple water management strategies;
- provide multiple benefits;
- benefit the entire region;
- benefit disadvantaged communities;
- address environmental justice needs;
- build upon other local and regional planning efforts; and
- foster partnerships among entities.
The following contract requirements are anticipated based on the draft Proposition 84/1E guidelines:
- Eligibility – Eligible grant recipients are public agencies, non-profit organizations, and tribal governments that are IRWM stakeholders.
- Consistency With Adopted IRWM Plan – Any implementation project must be consistent with the adopted 2007 IRWM Plan.
- Funding Match – Funding match includes all project funds made available by the grant recipient from non-state sources, including federal funds, local funds, and/or in-kind services. All State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans are considered to be State funds. The funding match for Proposition 84 is anticipated to be 25 percent of total project costs. The funding match required for proposition 1E is anticipated to be 50 percent of total project costs.
- 10% Retention – For each project, DWR will withhold a minimum 10 percent of the funds requested for reimbursement of eligible costs until the project is completed and the grant recipient has met all reporting requirements.
- Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) Compliance – Urban water suppliers subject to the Urban Water Management Planning Act (CWC §10610 et seq.) must have a submitted and completed UWMP to be eligible for IRWM grant funding.
- AB 1420 Compliance – Water management grants to urban water suppliers are conditioned on implementation of the Foundational Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the California Urban Water Conservation Council MOU (available at http://www.cuwcc.org/mou-main-page.aspx).
- Groundwater Management Plan (GWMP) Compliance – For groundwater management and recharge projects, the grant recipient or partners must demonstrate that they have prepared and implemented a GWMP or other basin-wide management plan that meets the requirements of CWC §10753.7; that the project includes development of a GWMP that meets the requirements of CWC §10753.7 which will be completed within 1-year of the grant application submittal; or that they conform to the requirements of an adjudication of water rights in the subject groundwater basin.
- Labor Compliance Program – Any grant recipient financing a public works project with IRWM grant funds must adopt and enforce a Labor Compliance Program pursuant to California Labor Code §1771.5(b).
- CEQA Compliance – All activities funded under the IRWM program must be in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources Code §21000 et seq.).
- Watershed Management Plan Consistency – Any watershed protection activities must be consistent with the applicable, adopted, local watershed management plans and the applicable Regional Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) adopted by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (CWC §79507).