Get involved in the Upper Feather River IRWM Planning Process!
By the Regional Water Management Group for the Upper Feather River Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Update.
Water is on our minds this year with the continuing drought, wildfires, a new water bond and new groundwater laws. It’s time for us to get together and talk about our water future in the Upper Feather River region. We have the opportunity to collect our thoughts and propose actions for inclusion in the update of our 2005 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.
Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to identify and implement water management solutions on a regional scale that increase regional self-reliance, cooperative problem solving, and manage water to improve social, environmental, and economic conditions in our region. The goals of the Statewide IRWM Program are:
- To encourage integrated regional strategies for management of water resources
- To meet the long term water needs including the delivery of safe drinking water, protection of water quality, reducing the negative consequences of flooding and supporting a healthy ecosystem
- Provide an opportunity for agencies and organizations to accomplish more than they could individually
A key goal of our IRWM Plan Update process is to garner input from residents, Tribes, and water managers in the region. The RWMG, which is responsible for the overall planning process and Plan approval, will rely on your involvement in the Workgroups and through public input to ensure all challenges and opportunities are identified and considered in the planning process. The RWMG is committed to ensuring that the new Plan reflects the priorities of people and water managers in the region. One of the benefits of developing a Department of Water Resources (DWR) compliant IRWM Plan is that it will support local and regional efforts to secure competitive statewide grant funding for projects that are identified during the planning process. To develop a Plan and projects that are built from the ground up, workgroups for four areas of long-term interest have been established by the RWMG. Water management goals and priorities will be developed by the following four Workgroups:
The RWMG is inviting you to get involved in the Workgroups by contacting the Workgroup of interest. The four Workgroup Coordinators, one for each of the four Workgroups, are in the process of setting up the first Workgroup meeting for late October or early November so please contact the Coordinators at the email addresses above to be notified about the first workgroup meetings. Although you may join in the process at any time, the first year of the Plan Update will focus on soliciting, developing, selecting and prioritizing projects and actions, so early participation is encouraged. We want to “walk our talk” in this Plan. Workgroups will develop projects and actions to solve water problems and to design a better water future in our region. The Plan will include the integrated efforts of the Workgroups, workshops and public comments.
Public, Tribal and stakeholder involvement throughout the planning process is crucial to a comprehensive and well-developed Plan. Information related to each of the required topics within the Plan will be presented and discussed through an interactive process during the three Workgroup meetings and the six RWMG meetings to be held each year. Workgroup members will be reviewing and providing recommendations to the RWMG on projects, technical studies, and draft Plan content. At the end of the planning process, the agreed upon content will be combined into the IRWM Plan for final public review.
So get involved! Opportunities for involvement include participation in Workgroups, workshops, and by providing public education and comment during RWMG meetings. All IRWM Plan meetings are open to the public and posted on the website. You can monitor our progress by checking the website for news, updates, and upcoming meetings. Additionally, public may review and comment on draft planning documents via email or through the website. Your comments and questions are always welcome and we’re happy to receive them during meetings, email, and through the website. Information about the Plan Update and process, how to get involved, meeting minutes and notices, archived meetings, and contact information can be found on the project website at http://featherriver.org/.