On June 18, the Regional Water Management Group (RWMG), comprised of the Merced Irrigation District, the City of Merced, and the County of Merced, released the draft Merced Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan for public review. The Draft IRWM Plan is the result of more than a year of work among water management agencies and the Regional Advisory Committee of community representatives. The plan describes the water management needs and objectives for the Merced region and lists more than 70 projects to address water supply, water quality, groundwater and wastewater management, flood control, conservation, natural resources, and recreation.
The draft Merced IRWM Plan is now available on the project website, www.mercedirwmp.org. Additional background information is also available there.
Merced Region Water Management Plan
The Regional Water Management Group recently completed five technical studies regarding flood management, groundwater recharge, water conservation, salt and nutrient management, and climate change. In the recent solicitation for projects to be included in the IRWM Plan, more than 60 projects were proposed by water managers and community groups in the region. The RWMG completed an initial evaluation and prioritization of the projects and is preparing a grant proposal to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to fund several projects.
The County of Merced, City of Merced, and Merced Irrigation District are preparing the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, which encourages cooperative planning among water resources management organizations in the Merced Region. The IRWM Plan will comply with guidelines established by DWR, which will increase the Region’s eligibility for state grant funding to implement projects. During IRWM planning, the Regional Water Management Group is coordinating decisions and recommendations with a Regional Advisory Committee of community leaders and conducting public workshops at major milestones.
More information is available at www.mercedirwmp.org.
Merced IRWM Program
The Merced Integrated Regional Water Management (Merced IRWM) program is a collaborative effort to identify water management issues, needs, objectives, actions, and priorities to meet the long-term water needs of the Merced Region- the area of Merced County east of the San Joaquin River. The City of Merced, County of Merced, and the Merced Irrigation District have joined together to lead the program, which is funded by a grant from the California Department of Water Resources under Proposition 50. Other participants in the program are listed on the IRWM website. The three governing entities comprise the Regional Water Management Group (RWMG). They expect to complete the Merced IRWM Plan, which is being developed consistent with state guidelines, by June 2013. Once the Plan is complete, the Merced Region will be eligible to compete for additional state grants to support local and regional projects. The planning process underway now will identify projects and programs to address regional water needs, including surface water, groundwater, water quality, wastewater management, flood management, recreation, and natural resources.
An Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan is developed through eight steps:
- Establish a Regional Governance Structure
- Identify Regional Needs, Objectives, and Performance Measures
- Identify Regional Projects and Programs
- Evaluate Impacts and Benefits
- Prioritize Projects and Programs
- Secure Funding
- Implement Projects
- Monitor Results and Adapt the Program