What is Integrated Regional Water Management and What is the T-Stan IRWMA?

Overview of the T-Stan IRWMA

See the “Region at a Glance” to learn more about the T-Stan to include demographics, funding acquired, and more! Read the one-pager here: IRWM T-Stan Region

DWR Explains Why it is Required for State Funding

“Integrated regional water management incorporates the physical, environmental, societal, economic, legal, and jurisdictional aspects of water management into regional solutions through open, collaborative stakeholder processes to promote sustainable water use. IRWM improves water management and helps ensure economic stability, environmental stewardship, public safety, and other benefits.”

A primary goal of IRWM is to manage water in a sustainable fashion achieving balance among the competing uses and requirements for water. To achieve this basic goal, IRWM is as much about process as it is about substance. That is, IRWM recognizes that an inclusive process that provides the opportunity for the engagement of the public, stakeholders, and all levels of government is essential for finding the balance necessary for sustainable water management outcomes.

National IRWM Perspective from US Army Corp of Engineers

  • Integration: means there is no such thing as isolated water resources; all are part of larger systems-integrating water resources planning and management with other resources (human, natural, and financial)
  • Holism: is a watershed approach looking at interconnections among local water issues
  • Collaboration: is at the core with all stakeholders-governmental, institutional, business, Tribes & the public
  • Participative Decision-making: engages stakeholders in a process that helps them visualize the impacts of management decisions on the watershed
  • Sound Science and Innovation: provides for leveraging the best available information, processes, and tools
  • Adaptive Management: recognizes management is a dynamic process that requires ongoing monitoring and adaption to changing conditions
  • Transparency and Accountability: requires sharing information and processes with stakeholders so that decision-makers are accountable to the public and their constituencies.

Where is the T-Stan IRWM Region?

  • It covers approximately 2,700 square miles
  • Spans the entire western slope of the Sierra Nevada
  • Encompasses the Upper Tuolumne & Upper Stanislaus Rivers and the Upper Rock Creek-French Camp Slough watersheds
  • Includes all of Tuolumne County, the southern portion of Calaveras County, and southwestern Alpine County

The Tuolumne-Stanislaus IRWM Program Region

T-Stan IRWMA Region Map

How is the T-Stan IRWM Process Managed?

  • It is organized through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA)
  • Paid staff provides administrative, financial management, facilitation, and process management
  • A six-member board of directors provides leadership
  • The board is informed by recommendations from the Watershed Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from over twenty organizations/agencies and members of the public

Planning Ahead

  • The IRWM Plan defines a clear vision for management of water resources through the year 2035 planning horizon.
  • The Plan highlights important actions needed to accomplish the vision.
  • The Plan is a planning tool which does not, in itself, provide discretionary approval for any given project or establish any new prescriptive compliance requirements.

The Plan Highlights Issues that Need to be Addressed Such As:

  • Improving Efficient Use & Distribution of Water
  • Increasing  Hydropower Generation
  • Developing More Reliable & Affordable Water Supplies
  • Meeting Water Quality Needs to Include Addressing Aging Septic Systems
  • Increasing Coordination Between Land Use Planning Entities & Water Agencies
  • Practicing Resource Stewardship & Provide for Ecosystem Needs to Include Forest Management
  • Improving Stormwater Capacity (Flood Management)
  • Accounting for Climate Change in Planning for Future Needs

Successes to Date:

  • Developed a DWR compliant IRWM Plan supported by a DWR grant with matching local funds
  • Was awarded $3.64 million through Round 2 of the Prop 84 grant program for eight projects across the region
  • Was awarded over $8 million through the Drought Solicitation of the same Prop 84 grant program

Funded Projects Include:

  • CCWD Wastewater Treatment Storage Pond
  • Groveland CSD Water Quality Protection
  • ATCAA Home-level Water Conservation for DACs
  • TUD Phoenix Lake Preservation & Restorations Phase 2
  • TCRCD Small Acreage Storm Water Pollution prevention
  • TRT Tuolumne Stanislaus Watershed Outreach & Education
  • USFS Upper South Fork Stanislaus River Watershed Restoration
  • Murphys SD Wastewater Treatment Facilities Improvement
  • Groveland CSD Water FIltration System
  • TCRCD Regional Water Conservation Program
  • TUD Phoenix Lake PReservation & Restoration Phase 3
  • Twain Harte CSD Shadybrook Well

The greatest achievement is that agencies, organizations, Tribes, and individuals across the region are working together for the betterment of the watersheds. Through regional planning, pooling of resources, and integrated project development, T-Stan residents, businesses, ecosystems, recreation, sacred lands, and other resources will benefit from improved watershed health.