What is the Tahoe-Sierra IRWM Plan?

An Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan was the outcome of an effort to identify regional water resources challenges and opportunities and prioritize actions and projects to address the challenges and opportunities. The goal has been to leverage the resources of twenty-eight agencies spanning the counties of Alpine, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Sierra, and pursue state and federal funding to implement projects identified through the planning process. Residents from within the planning area have been strongly encouraged to participate in developing the plan by attending community meetings, reading and commenting on documents, and bringing forward concerns and suggestions.

Why do we need an IRMW Plan?

To coordinate efforts between agencies that share responsibility for managing water resources, such as the Little Truckee river, Truckee River,  Carson River and Lake Tahoe watersheds, and leverage resources to implement improvements. Communities that want to compete for state grant funding to implement projects must have completed an IRWM Plan.

What topics are covered in the IRWM planning process?

Generally speaking, the planning process includes, but is not limited to, 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

In order to be eligible for state funding for future projects, the IRWM Plan must include an analysis of current and future anticipated conditions, challenges and opportunities, potential projects that benefit multiple areas (flood management and ecosystem restoration, for example), and recommendations for action, among other things.

What is the expected outcome of the IRWM process?

At the end of the planning process, the completed IRWM Plan will describe the water resources challenges and opportunities of the Tahoe-Sierra Region and describe an approach to addressing those challenges and opportunities. The Plan will also support efforts to solicit state and federal grant funding to implement priority projects. State funding sources included Proposition 84 grants, awarded to projects that improve water supply reliability and quality (particularly in disadvantaged communities); improve flood management practices; and eliminate or reduce pollution in sensitive habitat areas.

Who are the partners and Stakeholders?

The Tahoe-Sierra Regional Water Management Group is an organization formed by:

Alpine County

Alpine Springs Co. Water District

Alpine Watershed Group

Cal Trout

California Department of Transportation

California Tahoe Conservancy

Carson Water Subconservancy District

City of South Lake Tahoe

Department of Water Resources

El Dorado County

El Dorado County Water Agency

Environmental Protection Agency

Feather River Chapter, Trout Unlimited

Friends of Hope Valley

Friends of Squaw Creek

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, USFS

Lakeside Park Association

Lukins Brothers Water Company

Markleeville Public Utilities District

Markleeville Water Co.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

North Tahoe Public Utility District

Placer County

Sierra County

Sierra County Dept. of Transportation

Sierra County Firesafe and Watershed Council

Sierra Nevada Conservancy

South Tahoe Public Utility District

Squaw Valley Public Service District

St. Joseph’s Community Land Trust

Tahoe City Public Utility District

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency

Town of Truckee

Trout Unlimited

Truckee Donner Land Trust

Truckee Trails Foundation

Truckee Donner Public Utility District

Truckee River Basin Watergroup

Truckee River Watershed Council

Truckee Sanitary District

UC Davis

US Forest Service Truckee Area

Vail Resorts

Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California

How are decisions made?

Information related to each of the topics will be  presented and discussed through an interactive process initiated during Stakeholder and Partnership meetings. Draft plan content will be  prepared based on the discussion of each topic and then provided for review and comment. The draft content will be  revised as needed based on comments offered and then made available again for review and comment until the content is broadly acceptable. At the end of the planning process, the agreed upon content will be combined into the IRWM Plan for final public review and member agency adoption.

Why is my involvement important?

The IRWM Plan will set a direction for managing water resources in the region over the next 20 years. The Plan supports efforts to solicit and secure funding for water resources projects for the region. Public participation has been very important to ensure all challenges and opportunities were identified and considered in the planning process, and that the plan reflects the priorities of the communities.

How can I be involved?

You can participate in community meetings, or review and comment on draft planning documents via email or through the website. You can monitor our progress by checking the website for news and updates. Your comments and questions are always welcome, and we’re happy to receive them during meetings, by phone, email, and through the website.

How is the IRWM Plan process being funded?

The $1.5 million project is being funded in large part through a $1 million Proposition 84 planning grant from the California Department of Water Resources. The remainder of the project cost is being funded by the partnering agencies under a cost-sharing agreement.

Who can I talk to for more information?

Please contact Lynn Nolan for more information.