State bond measures provided fi nancial horsepower for IRWM planning and implementation and were the motivator behind bringing parties together to make commitments to the regional approach. These funds helped to leverage considerable funding by local agencies, which are required to provide matching funds. Absent this funding for planning and implementation the regional planning programs would likely never have been developed on their own.
Watch a video about Imperial Irrigation District’s IRWM eff orts
The future is murky however, given the slow economy and tight budgets at both the state and local levels. Funding can be a major issue as regional stakeholders pursue plans to address a disparate of issues.
The IRWM grant programs are administered on the state level by DWR and the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board). According to DWR’s website, grant program milestones included the following:
The Capitol Building
• November 2002 – California voters pass Proposi- tion 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002 (CWC §79560-79565), which provides $500 million to fund competitive grants for projects consistent with an adopted IRWM plan.
• November 2006 – California voters pass Proposi- tion 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality, and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act (PRC §75001-75130), which provides $1 billion for IRWM planning and implementation.
• November 2006 – California voters pass Proposition 1E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Preven- tion Bond Act (PRC §5096.800-5096.967), which provides $300 million for IRWM stormwater fl ood management.
• An $11 billion water bond measure with $1 billion allocated for IRWM and other projects was pulled from both the 2010 and 2012 California ballots and has currently been delayed until 2014 because of the economy and other reasons. It remains unknown if legislators will revise the proposed bond prior to the 2014 election.
While past state grant programs were focused on various aspects of water management, IRWM changed the paradigm so that it is up to the stakeholders in the region to decide the best mix of resource management strategies and how they will be implemented.
For both Proposition 50 and Proposition 84, grant applicants had to demonstrate IRWM strategies that aimed to improve water supply reliability, better water quality and environmental stewardship.
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