Water planning for the region

American River

Sacramento Area Water Forum and the Water Forum Agreement

The Sacramento Area Water Forum, founded in 1993, involved more than forty-six stakeholders during a seven-year process to reach agreement on balancing the need for reliable water supplies with a sustainable ecosystem on the lower American River. The members of the Water Forum prescribed a regional conjunctive use program for Folsom Lake, the lower American River, and the connected basins within Sacramento County to address the region’s resources and environmental protection needs.

The landmark agreement, co-signed by all members, included seven principle elements to address key issues including groundwater management, water diversions, dry year water supplies, water conservation and protection of the lower American River.

The Water Forum Agreement has resulted in thousands of hours and millions of dollars to develop projects and programs for a sustainable and environmentally responsible water supply. The historic effort continues to pay dividends for the region and serve as a national model.

Regional water agencies are currently preparing the 2012 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP).

The State of California water policy promotes integrated regional planning for water resources, focused on water supply for all uses, suitable water quality for all uses and environmental stewardship. To promote this concept, Propositions 50 and 84 provide funding for planning and for implementation by the forty-seven regions recognized by the California Department of Water Resources.

Water resources agencies in the greater Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado County region within the American River Basin participate in preparing the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan as required by the State of California. The Regional Water Authority is currently preparing the 2012 IRWMP which includes multiple water management strategies to solve the challenges faced in water resource planning. The plan structure includes Water Supply, Water Quality, Natural Resources Management, Flood/Floodplain Management, Water Demand Management and other issues. Dozens of agencies are involved in developing the specific projects and programs to be implemented.

The Greenwise Regional Action Plan includes just a sampling of the projects that will promote water conservation and ensure the region’s quality of life is protected. Implementation of the Plan will include support for the projects included in future water resource planning efforts like the 2012 American River Basin Integrated Water Management Plan.

Source: Regional Water Authority

Photo by jillallyn, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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