What is an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP)?
An IRWMP is a comprehensive approach to determine an appropriate mix of demand and supply management options that provide a long-term, reliable water supply at the lowest reasonable cost and with the highest possible benefits to customers, economic development, environmental quality and other local objectives.
Why does the Imperial Region need an IRWMP and what are the benefits?
An Imperial IRWMP will help local interests define how they will make the best use of the water supplies that are available locally and from the Colorado River. Developing the Imperial IRWMP will:
- Protect local water rights
- Sustain the local agricultural economy
- Promote economic development
- Define a water supply portfolio
- Help IID, cities, and the county streamline the review and permitting process
- Resolve conflicts by providing an alternative to litigation
- Present a united political front
- Qualify the Imperial Region for state bond funding (Propositions 1E, 50,
How will the Imperial IRWMP be prepared?
A management structure has been proposed for development of the Imperial IRWMP.
An Imperial Region Water Management Group (RWMG) will provide oversight and include elected representatives from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), Imperial County and local cities. The Imperial Water Forum will be used to coordinate stakeholders. Work groups to address specific issues are anticipated, and meetings will be open to the public.
What types of projects are contemplated?
The Imperial IRWMP will review a range of water management strategies, which include a wide array of approaches from development of water supply capital projects to demand management measures. Projects and programs to be considered include, but are not limited to:
- Storage of Colorado River water in the groundwater basin
- Development of local groundwater through desalination or blending with existing supplies
- Desalination of irrigation drainwater
- Recycling and reuse of wastewater
- Water quality treatment
What are the goals of the IRWMP process?
- Diversify regional water portfolios
- Foster regional partnerships and resolve conflicts
- Integrate resources-management decisions
- Reduce costs and maximize value
- Provide for sustainability
- Address water-related needs of disadvantaged communities
- Protect and improve water quality
- Resources stewardship
What is the relationship between the IID Plan and the Imperial IRWMP? Imperial Irrigation District recently prepared a water resources plan that can be used as a foundation for development of the Imperial IRWMP.
How can I stay informed?
All Imperial Water Forum meetings will be open to the public and there will be opportunities for public involvement. It is anticipated that there will be additional public workshops to keep people informed as to the progress.