The SOC WMA includes the area that encompasses the San Juan Hydrologic Unit (SJHU) in South Orange County as defined in the Water Quality Control Plan of the San Diego Basin.
The SJHU is a collection of coastal watersheds that covers 496 square miles in San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties. The SJHU is naturally divided by major water bodies and represents an important water resource in one of the most arid regions of the nation. It is comprised of seven major watersheds: 1) Newport Coast, 2) Laguna Coastal Streams, 3) Aliso Creek, 4) Dana Point Coastal Streams (Salt Creek), 5) San Juan Creek, 6) San Clemente Coastal Streams, and 7) San Mateo Creek, and two groundwater basins: 1) San Juan Groundwater Basin and 2) San Mateo Groundwater Basin.
In 2004, the South Orange County Integrated Regional Water Management Group (Group) was formed by the County, South Orange County cities, water, and special districts located within the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s region. This Group was formed for two main purposes: short-term to prepare a South Orange County Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan (IRWMP) and subsequent grant application in 2005 for Prop 50 funds; and long-term to provide an integrated and coordinated local water resources planning function.
Development of Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan (IRWMP)
In June 2005, the SOC IRWMG submitted the South Orange County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for Proposition 50, Chapter 8 Integrated Regional Water Management Program Implementation Grant funds. In January 2007, the SOC IRWMP was one of seven statewide proposals recommended for funding. As a result, South Orange County will receive $25,000,000 for projects included in the SOC IRWMP. They include:
- Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), Water Use Efficiency Program
- Santa Margarita Water District, Canada Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin
- City of Laguna Beach, Heisler Park Marine Habitat Protection
- City of San Juan Capistrano, Recycled Water Transmission Systems Improvements
- City of San Clemente, Recycled Water Treatment and Distribution
- County of Orange, Aliso Creek Habitat Restoration Project
- El Toro Water District, Recycled Water System Expansion Project
- South Coast Water District (SCWD), Aliso Creek Urban Runoff Recovery, Reuse, and Conservation Project
- South Orange County Wastewater Authority, Coastal Treatment Plant Export Sludge System
In July 2007, the SOC IRWMG executed a Prop 50 Integrated Regional Water Management Implementation Grant Agreement; with the State Water Resources Control Board to receive grant funds in an amount of $25,000,000.
In September 2009, OC Public Works received notice from DWR that the SOC IRWMG will be recognized as a Region and therefore eligible to compete for Prop 84 funds.
In 2013 the South OC Watershed Management Area (WMA) Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan (IRWMP) was approved by the South OC WMA Executive Committee. The final approved SOC WMA IRWMP can be found at this link.
South Orange County Proposition 50, Watershed Management Projects
Total Water Efficiency....managing every drop
Below are links to the ten videos highlighting the projects funded through the Proposition 50 Integrated Regional Water Management funding.
Proposition 50 Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant
The goal of the project is to implement projects of the South Orange County IRWM Plan. The South Orange County IRWM Plan covers the seven (7) southern watersheds (also known as the San Juan Hydrologic Unit) in Orange County. The participating agencies have consented to implementing their respective components by signing an Implementation Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Orange. The County of Orange is responsible for the overall IRWM Project administration. The County of Orange will consolidate items for review, reporting, invoicing, and inter-agency coordination.
This project combines the SmarTimer Program with the GreenBack Program of the South Orange County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. The Water Use Efficiency Program Expansion (WUEPE) installed approximately two thousand, four hundred fifty (2,450) “SmarTimer” irrigation controllers in new and existing residential (1,200) and commercial landscapes (1,250) through the SmarTimer program and will correct and improve landscape irrigation distribution systems for approximately two hundred ninety (290) participants through the GreenBack program using a Rebate Program format.
The removal of invasive species will allow existing native trees and other vegetation that is currently crowded by the Arundo to be introduced. Native tree canopies will increase shaded areas along the creek that result in long term aquatic benefits resulting from providing cooler habitats. The outcome of the invasive plant removal will be increased wetland and riparian habitat and improved water quality. The Mathis Canyon Trail restoration will include relocation of the existing trail to allow for slope repair and to avoid further erosion to the creek. The area will be revegetated with native vegetation upon completion.
This project will construct a 240,000 gallon concrete tank at the Coastal Treatment Plant that will be used to store sludge. The new storage tank will make way for future construction that will support operations at the treatment plant.
This project will incorporate planning, design and construction of an 800,000 gallon per day water treatment facility that will be blended with existing reclaimed water to be used for irrigation.The City of Laguna Beach Heisler Park Habitat Protection Project was designed to reduce runoff to the ecological reserve. Improvements to Heisler Park Marine Habitat Protection Project are intended to reduce the amount of pollutants from reaching the ocean by promoting infiltration through Low Impact Development. (LID). The park improvements include: a controlled and efficient irrigation system; bluff-top landscape grading, surface drain and pathway.
This project will construct 2 multipurpose basins adjacent to Canada Gobernadora. The upper basin will be a wetland area for treatment of urban runoff. While the lower basin will be used to capture excess storm flows and reduce peak runoff.
The construction of a new recycled water distribution system in the El Toro Water District service area will provide service to 200 water meters. .
This project will construct one new non-potable well and refurbish two esiting non-potable wells expanding the City's Ground Water Recovery Plant.
The project will provide partial funding for construction and expansion of the reservoirs, pressure reducing station and pipelines to enhance the City’s recycled water system.