In California, the state requires agencies that want to apply for certain grant funds to develop what are known as “integrated regional water management plans,” or IRWMPs. They are generally organized along regional watershed lines. Three of these plans include parts of Amador and Calaveras counties: the CABY IRWMP (Calaveras-American-Bear-Yuba), the MAC IRWMP (Mokelumne -Amador-Calaveras), and the TSTAN IRWMP (Tuolumne-Stanislaus).
The MAC plan was last updated in 2015. With changes in the state law governing IRWMPs, the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority has begun to update the plan, anticipating new grants coming online next year following the June 2018 passage of the Proposition 68 parks, environment and water bond. The update should be complete before the end of the year.
The “integrated” aspect of IRWMPs means that the plans have to include not only water supply projects, but conservation, efficiency, watershed protection, wastewater treatment, and other means of ensuring that water is used to benefit people and the environment. Conservation groups, public agencies, tribes and members of the public are able to recommend projects for inclusion in the plan.
We have asked that the following projects be included in the plan, which would make them eligible for state funding:
- Our Mokelumne salmon restoration project
- A noxious weed eradication planning project for local waterways
- Development of a “users’ guide” to the Mokelumne Watershed
- Implementation of Amador Water Agency’s water efficiency plan
- Support for high country meadow restoration
The “Regional Participants Committee” of the MAC plan, on which we sit, will continue to evaluate these and other projects over the next few months to determine what will be included in the plan update.
Previous state grants secured for the MAC plan have repaired Ponderosa Way in Calaveras County, replaced the supply plumbing in West Point, and paid for water reuse projects in Amador County. For more information on the plan and planning process, see the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority website.