Integrated Regional Water Management

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Integrated Regional
Water Management

Integrated regional water management is an innovative way to increase reliable water supplies, improve water quality, and protect natural resources through cooperation among public agencies and non-profit public interest organizations. The San Diego IRWM Program produced the first San Diego IRWM Plan in 2007 to serve as the foundation for an integrated planning approach to water supply and quality issues.

The Water Authority began implementing three IRWM grants from the state on behalf of the region. Two of the grants, totaling $33.9 million, support implementation of 30 public and non-profit projects that help achieve regional water management goals.

Examples of these projects include:

  • A groundwater recharge and recovery improvement project for the lower Santa Margarita groundwater basin to provide a water supply for Camp Pendleton and the Fallbrook Public Utility District.
  • The coordination and integration of numerous recycled water projects being developed by 11 North County water agencies into a comprehensive recycling program.
  • A regional pollution prevention project by San Diego Coastkeeper that removes trash and debris from local waterways and assesses water quality conditions through citizen monitoring.

The third grant, of $1 million, supports the update of the 2007 IRWM Plan to expand its focus and meet new state requirements. Once the plan update is complete, in late 2013, the San Diego region will be eligible to receive another $56 million in IRWM funding.


TOP IMAGE: The San Vicente Reservoir Source Water Protection Project is among the five Water Authority projects being implemented with IRWM funds. This project funded acquisition of land adjacent to the reservoir to protect source water quality given the expansion of the reservoir.

BOTTOM IMAGE: A biofiltration wetland within the San Diego Zoo Safari Park was developed as a Water Authority IRWM project. It improves water quality through natural filtration. The constructed wetlands act as biological filters to remove pollutants as well as educate park visitors about water conservation and the importance of conserving wetlands.