Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Programs

Integrated Regional Water Management (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.


Eligibility Criteria and Prioritization Processes 
Applications for IRWM grants must meet all relevant eligibility criteria in order to be considered for funding. Additional eligibility criteria may be applicable to specific appropriations of funding. Such appropriation specific elements will be found in the PSPs.  

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.

Re-Opening Call for Projects for North and South Watershed Management Areas May 3 through May 22, 2019


Call for Projects Overview
Projects submitted will be assessed and ranked alongside the projects submitted for consideration in the first call for projects. Existing projects that submitted during the first call period may update information included on their applications; however, it is requested that project proponents contact County staff prior to re-submitting to ensure submittals do not constitute a new project.

Why is the Call for Projects Being Re-opened?
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the Final Proposition 1 IRWM Grant Program documents on April 22, 2019. The significant changes are summarized below, including a call-out for a key change to project eligibility (highlighted in yellow):

The Final PSP contains a few major changes from the Draft PSP, including but not limited to: 

  • CEQA and permitting must be completed within 12 months of the final grant award (Draft PSP said 6 months) 
    • Projects that provide at least 75% of benefits to DACs, EDAs, and/or tribes are exempt
    • Regional grant agreement will be executed only with projects that have CEQA and permits compete; An amendment will be required to add project(s) that acquire CEQA and permits within 12 months of grant award; Once 12 months has passed, project(s) will be deemed ineligible for funding and grant will be reduced by the project amount
  • To qualify as a DAC project, 75% of benefits must benefit a DAC area (Draft PSP said 100%) 
    • DAC projects include DACs only as defined by Water Code §79505.5(a) = 80% of Statewide MHI 
  • Acknowledges that federally recognized Tribes are protected by doctrine of sovereign immunity; Tribes will be consulted on government-to-government basis prior to execution of grant agreement (this is new section in 2019 Guidelines) 
  • A “Climate Change” attachment has been added to the final application requirements

For your reference, the Final Prop 1 IRWM Grant program documents can be found here:
https://water.ca.gov/Work-With-Us/Grants-And-Loans/IRWM-Grant-Programs/Proposition-1/Implementation-Grants


South Orange County Watershed Management Area

Projects submitted will be assessed and ranked alongside the projects submitted for consideration in the first call for projects. Existing projects that submitted during the first call period may update information included on their applications; however, it is requested that project proponents contact County staff prior to re-submitting to ensure submittals do not constitute a new project. For more information please visit the SOCWMA website at:http://arcg.is/1WWTmb or contact Jenna Voss. 


North & Central Orange County Watershed Management Area
The North & Central Orange County (NOC) Watershed Management Area Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program is also soliciting projects to include in Prop 1 - Round 1 IRWM Implementation grant application with SAWPA. For more information please visit NOCWMA website at DMS  or contact Beatrice Musacchia


Previous Grant Funding Opportunities

2014 Proposition 84 Drought Grant Funding
DWR has been directed by the Governor and Legislature to expedite the solicitation and award of $200 million in IRWM funding to support projects and programs that provide immediate regional drought preparedness, increase local water supply reliability and the delivery of safe drinking water, assist water suppliers and regions to implement conservation programs and measures that are not locally cost effective, and/or reduce water quality conflicts or ecosystem conflicts created by the drought. Proposition 84 funded Drought Grant Guidelines and IRWM Implementation Grant PSP are available by following the respective links.