Working Towards the Future

Water resources management in California is complicated, especially since watersheds, floodplains, and habitat areas do not conform to city, county, or agency boundaries. Regional partnerships are needed to identify and take action on shared challenges and opportunities related to water supply reliability, water quality, flood management, and ecosystem health, among others. Working together and leveraging resources will lead to more effective, affordable, and sustainable water resources management at local and regional levels.

With this in mind, a group of public agencies spanning five counties – Alpine, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Sierra – have partnered to identify and address regional water resources opportunities and challenges for the areas within the Little Truckee River, Truckee River, Carson River and Lake Tahoe watersheds. Some of the key water resources within the planning area include the Truckee River, Carson River, Little Truckee River, Lake Tahoe, Stampede Reservoir and Indian Creek Reservoir.

An integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan describes and addresses the following:

  • Water supply reliability
  • Water conservation
  • Water quality improvement
  • Storm water management
  • Flood management
  • Invasive species abatement
  • Mercury contamination cleanup
  • Wetlands enhancements and protections
  • Environmental and habitat improvements and protections

Collectively, the Tahoe-Sierra region includes 2 incorporated cities and 13 communities

The IRWM Plan supports local and regional efforts to secure grant funding for projects identified as part of the planning process. The development of the IRWM Plan was funded in large part by a $557,000 grant from the California Department of Water Resources Proposition 84 funds.

The Planning Process

Encouraging participation and input from residents and other stakeholders has been a key goal of the IRWM Plan development process. Other goals included:

  • Fostering collaboration among agencies and stakeholders that leads to effective strategies to address challenges, take advantage of opportunities and strengthen relationships between affected parties.
  • Maximizing the use of existing local data and water resources plans.
  • Developing a better understanding of the region’s current and future water resource challenges, needs, and opportunities.
  • Encouraging broad support of the development process and the final content.
  • Providing a useful foundation for ongoing regional water resources efforts and supporting meaningful integration with and enhancement of adjacent IRWM Plans and other sub-regional planning efforts.
  • Complying with applicable state requirements (Proposition 84) and the legislative intent of the California Water Code. Additionally, the plan will be consistent with the statewide California Water Plan.
  • Creating a living document under a governance structure that supports periodic updates in response to changing conditions.
  • Using compelling information that supports future efforts to secure available grant funding.

Projects identified in the IRWM Plan may be eligible for future funding from the California Department of Water Resources, but only if the IRWM Plan meets State standards. The Plan will use an interactive process and address the following topics:

Topic 1: Governance
Topic 2: Region Description
Topic 3: Objectives
Topic 4: Resource Management strategies
Topic 5: Integration
Topic 6: Project Review Process
Topic 7: Impact and Benefit
Topic 8: Plan Performance and Monitoring
Topic 9: Data Management
Topic 10: Finance
Topic 11: Technical Analysis
Topic 12: Relation to Local Water Planning
Topic 13: Relation to Local Land Use Planning
Topic 14: Stakeholder Involvement
Topic 15: Coordination
Topic 16: Climate Change