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Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Website Questions

I forgot my user name and password.

User names are often the initial of your first name and your whole last name. There is a link near the bottom of the login box for resetting your password. Try a user name and see if it works. If not, you can contact the volunteer site administrators.

2015 Project Submittal Questions

How do I submit a project for the 2015 round?

The instructions for submitting a project in the 2015 round are linked on our home page.

If I update my project in the online form/template, will it be equivalent to submitting the concept plan satisfy the requirement for being considered in this round’s funding?

Yes. There is a box to check under the first big text box (Abstract) where you indicate that you are submitting the project for this round. I believe if you check that box it will be considered for the current round.

I can't edit all the fields and check boxes. I see them in the "View" tab, but not in the "Edit" tab. What's up with that?

Not every field  or checkbox is editable at this time. Even though you see data on the “View” tab, you can’t edit all of it. This is because we needed to keep things simple in this application round. Your project will only be screened base on the fields you see in the new version of the project form.

Introduction to the Bay Area IRWMP

What is the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (Bay Area IRWMP)?

The San Francisco Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (Bay Area IRWMP) is a planning process and document that identifies Bay Area water challenges and opportunities and how water resources management agencies and communities can work together to plan for and manage the whole lifecycle of this essential resource for the benefit of the region’s seven million residents, its ecosystem and its wildlife.  The region qualifies and can compete for specific state funding when the state approves its Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. The region also becomes part of a statewide network of integrated regional water management planning regions.

 2.  What geographic region does the Bay Area IRWMP include?

The IRWM Regions and Funding Areas are based on hydrological watersheds rather than city/county boundaries.  In the Bay Area, the Funding Area described in Proposition 84 and the San Francisco Bay Area IRWM Region is coterminous, including all or part of nine counties and 110 cities.  The counties include San Francisco, and parts of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin.  The region is further divided into four subregions to address local issues and projects.  (See Question 21 for subregion contact information.)
The specific geographic extent of the Bay Area IRWMP is based on the boundary of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board Region 2.  Hydrologically, the Region 2 boundary generally represents the watershed interfluve for Bay-draining surface flows and runoff. Although some coastal Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo County lands are included within the Region 2 boundary, a majority of lands drain to the Bay. For the purposes of developing a plan to manage integrated water resources, using a physically based watershed boundary that drains (a majority of) lands to a common receiving water body (the Bay) is advantageous. Additionally, Region 2 is a historically defined jurisdictional boundary. Using a well-understood and existing jurisdictional boundary reduces confusion for participating agencies who are already familiar with its geography.

Boundaries of the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan

What is the status of the Bay Area IRWMP Update?

 The Bay Area IRWMP was adopted in 2006.  The plan is being updated in 2012 and 2013 to meet revised IRWM Plan Standards set forth in California’s Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management Program Guidelines published by the Department of Water Resources in August of 2010.  The Bay Area IRWMP Coordinating Committee (CC) is using a Proposition 84 IRWM Planning Grant to develop the updated Bay Area IRWMP.   The CC has hired a team of technical, planning, and stakeholder engagement consultants (Kennedy/Jenks, ESA and Kearns & West) to develop the updated Bay Area IRWMP with input from partner agencies, associations, non-profit organizations and the public. First-time participation by new agencies, organizations and individuals is encouraged. 

Public workshops will be held in the summer of 2012 to explain the 2013 Plan and seek comment and feedback.  The project team will update the website to provide information as well as announcements of workshops and public participation opportunities. ( See also Question 20 about how you can get involved. 

Who is involved in the Bay Area IRWMP?

San Francisco Bay Area water, wastewater, flood protection and stormwater management agencies; cities and counties; watershed management interests, planning agencies and organizations, and non-governmental organizations are involved in the Bay Area IRWMP.  They voluntarily participate in the Coordinating Committee (CC), which is the Regional Water Management Group for the Bay Area IRWMP.  Additional agencies and organizations are encouraged to learn about the process, provide feedback on the 2013 Plan’s chapters as they are released in 2012 and 2013, and to identify and submit projects to be included in the Bay Area IRWMP so that the projects can compete for state IRWM grants. Agencies and organizations dealing with land use and climate change are particularly encouraged to participate as water resource management is increasingly related to these topics.

 What is integrated water planning?

Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries and involves multiple agencies, communities, groups and individuals.   It attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all the entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions. For instance, water supply, water quality, and habitat projects might be combined with a flood control project in a way that benefits a much larger area than the original jurisdiction. The result is a multi-objective approach that multiplies the benefits of any individual agency’s or organization’s single project.

What water resource management challenges will the Bay Area IRWMP address?

The Bay Area IRWMP will inform future water resource management planning, including the relationship between water and land use planning, by creating a roadmap that will help enhance water supply reliability, protect water quality, manage flood protection, maintain public health standards, improve habitat conditions and enhance the overall health of San Francisco Bay.  New to the 2013 Plan will be a chapter that identifies how Bay Area water resources are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Awareness of potential climate change impacts can help communities plan for and mitigate expected water changes and threats.

Why is the Bay Area IRWMP important?

The Bay Area IRWMP is the regional plan for managing and leveraging our water resource systems, an effort no individual water or flood agency could do on its own.  Collaboration strengthens regional clout, reduces resource management conflict, increases benefits across the region, and may reduce costs for individual agencies. On the practical side, water-related agencies that participate in an IRWMP and submit projects qualify to compete for state grant money to fund projects that will help their communities. Non-profit organizations, neighborhood groups, interest groups and Native American tribes can also benefit by collaborating with the public agencies to propose projects to the state that help solve their water resources challenges.

What is the impetus behind regional and integrated water management planning?

The California Department of Water Resources encourages and provides funds to communities to collaborate on managing their water resources.   In 2002, and again in 2006, California voters recognized the importance of forward-thinking water planning when they approved Propositions 50, 84 and 1E. People and natural resources in the almost 50 California IRWM regions benefit from this bond money designated for Integrated Regional Water Management planning and implementation.

What topics, services, and functions does an IRWMP address?  

IRWMPs include a physical and demographic description of the region and its populations, regional water resources management objectives and priorities, water resources management strategies, implementation impacts and benefits, impacts of climate change (an addition for the 2013 Plan), data management, financing, relationship to local planning, and coordination with state and federal agencies whose jurisdictions and service topics overlap with the IRWMP. It also includes projects that agencies and collaborations of agencies and non-profit organizations and communities have submitted for consideration. The plan serves as a guide to enhance water supply reliability, protect water quality, manage flood protection, maintain public health standards, improve habitat conditions, and enhance the overall health of San Francisco Bay. 

Why will climate change be included in the 2013 Plan Update?

This new chapter is intended to make water resources management and land use planners, as well as policy makers, throughout the Bay Area aware of climate change impacts on water resources so they can evaluate, prioritize and incorporate policies and strategies that anticipate, plan for, and mitigate climate change.  Preliminary evidence suggests that sea level rise may have its greatest impact in low-lying, flood-prone areas that ring the Bay.  The 2013 Plan will identify the most vulnerable areas.  It will also suggest mitigation measures to address climate change impacts.

What types of projects are eligible for state grant funding?

IRWM Implementation Grant funding provided under Propositions 50, 84 and 1E seeks to fund water resources projects with a multiplier effect -- multiple strategies for improving water systems that result in multiple benefits to multiple communities. Projects that might qualify for funding include, among others, improved water supply reliability, long-term attainment and maintenance of water quality standards, eliminated or reduced pollution in impaired water and sensitive habitat areas, planning and implementation of multipurpose flood control programs, and drinking water and water quality projects that serve disadvantaged communities.  The IRWM funds are also -available identify and address water needs specific to Native American communities.  

Organizational Structure, Governance and Funding

Who is updating the Bay Area IRWMP?

The Bay Area IRWMP Coordinating Committee (CC) is the Regional Water Management Group for the Bay Area IRWMP and its 2013 update.  Participation in the CC and its monthly meetings is open to anyone and the group operates on a consensus basis. 

Who is administering the Planning and Implementation Grants?

The Marin Municipal Water District holds the contract with the California Department of Water Resources to administer the Proposition 84 Planning Grant which is funding the 2013 Plan.  Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA) is administering the two Implementation Grants received to date by the Bay Area IRWMP -- one under Proposition 50 and one under Proposition 84. Future planning and implementation grants may be administered by other participating Bay Area agencies.

Who adopts the Bay Area IRWMP?

In 2006, the Bay Area IRWMP was adopted by participating Bay Area agencies and organizations. The 2013 Bay Area IRWMP will be adopted by participating Bay Area agencies and organizations, including any additional agencies and organizations interested in participating.  The projects that are funded by competitive state grants are implemented by the individual project proponents.

Where does California IRWM funding come from?

IRWM funding comes from California taxpayers as a result of approval of three important ballot propositions.  Key IRWM grant funding milestones include:
2002 - Senate Bill 1672 created the Integrated Regional Water Management Act to encourage local agencies to work cooperatively to manage local and imported water supplies to improve the quality, quantity, and reliability.
November 2002 - California voters passed Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, which provides $500,000,000 (CWC §79560-79565) to fund competitive grants for projects consistent with an adopted IRWM plan.
November 2006 - California voters passed Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality, and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act, which provides $1,000,000,000 (PRC §75001-75130) for IRWM Planning and Implementation.
November 2006 - California voters passed Proposition 1E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act, which provides $300,000,000 (PRC §5096.800-5096.967) for IRWM Stormwater Flood Management.

What happens to projects not initially funded under Prop 50 or Prop 84?

It will not be possible to fund all projects through the funding sources identified above. Funding for projects identified in the IRWMP may come from a variety of other sources as those funding sources are identified over time. Inclusion of a project in the IRWMP does not guarantee that funding is (or will be), available.

How will projects be prioritized in the 2013 Bay Area IRWMP?

The 2013 Plan will include a list of projects, some of which are carryovers from the 2006 Plan and some of which are being identified during 2012. The consultant team, with input from the Coordinating Committee, is drafting criteria for prioritization.  Public workshops   in the summer and fall of 2012 will present proposed criteria for prioritization and will seek public input on the criteria.  The workshops, as well as information on the website, will also provide details about project applications. Based on the proposed criteria, the consulting team will develop a draft, prioritized list of projects for discussion at the September 2012 Coordinating Committee meeting. (Open to the public, check website for details.)  Subsequent public workshops will present the prioritized list for public discussion. A final list of prioritized projects will be completed in December 2012 and will be included in the 2013 Plan.

How can the Bay Area IRWMP be used for other grant funding sources?

Depending on the grant requirements of other funding sources, particularly those seeking integrated approaches, it is conceivable that there may be other related funding opportunities. The Bay Area IRWMP provides a foundation for pursuing such opportunities.

How to Get Involved and to Submit Projects for the Plan

Who can and should be involved in regional water resources management and the Bay Area IRWMP process?

Anyone interested in water resources management and decisions is encouraged to learn and to share his or her knowledge, ideas and questions. Participants include people representing water providers, flood agencies, utility districts, cities and counties, regional governments and coordinating bodies, non-profit and community organizations, educational institutions, and individuals. 

How can I and my organization participate in the development of the 2013 Bay Area IRWMP?

There are a number of avenues for participation in the 2013 Bay Area IRWMP:

Subregion Activities:  The Bay Area is divided into four subregions to allow more specific discussions of topics pertinent to the area.  Each subregion has a coordinator(s) and holds meetings and conference calls that are open to all.  For information about issues and activities in any of the subregions, and/or to be added to a subregion-specific email listserv, please contact a subregion coordinator listed in under "Who can I contact?"

Coordinating Committee:  Participation in the broad-based, regional water resources management group known as the Coordinating Committee (CC) of the San Francisco Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan is open to all, whether or not one has an official capacity related to water resources management.  Those interested are invited to participate in discussions at monthly meetings, receive email updates, submit comments on chapters as they are released for public review, attend any of the public workshops to be held in 2012 and 2013, and may seek to collaborate with agencies and organizations to submit water resources project proposals. (Check website to sign up for the master email listserv to receive updates, to view meeting details, and submit project ideas.)  Please join us at our monthly meetings on the last Monday of the month.  See website for details. 

Working within your organization:  Agencies and organizations can consider sponsoring forums to discuss the Bay Area IRWMP and can also distribute information about the Bay Area IRWMP to their constituencies or membership to encourage them to provide information and ideas that might be valuable to the development of the plan. Additionally, individuals in organizations can help by working to build support for the concept of a regional approach to water resource management as well as for adoption of the Bay Area IRWMP in 2013. See the website for a one-page flyer that can be downloaded.

Website:  Please visit the Bay Area IRWMP website to get information about plan content and 2013 IRWMP update process.

Regional email master list:  Periodic updates and notices will be issued to the master email listserv for the entire Bay Area.  To sign up to receive information via email, please visit the website or go directly to
Subregion email lists:  Please contact the subregion leads listed under the Question "Who can I contact?" to be notified of local information and meetings.

Bay Area IRWMP Public Workshops:  Public workshops are scheduled at key milestones in the summer and fall of 2012 to share information on the elements of the Plan update and to solicit feedback on the draft chapters and important topics, such as project identification and prioritization. The meetings are intended to involve a broad audience, including organizations and individuals who have not been involved in the Bay Area IRWMP previously.  Workshop details and information are posted on the website.


How can my agency or organization have its water project(s) included in the Bay Area IRWMP?

In order to be considered for state IRWM grant funding, a proposed water resources project must be included in the Bay Area IRWMP.  If your agency or organization is aware of a water-related problem that can be addressed by a resources project that solves a water-related problem and may meet state grant funding criteria, please complete a project template, or submit project information via the web-based project submittal tool available on the project website, on the left panel.  The information does not have to constitute a full proposal during the initial stages.

Who can I contact if I want to discuss a water project idea or get added to a subregional email list?

If you want to be added to a subregional email list for updates and/or If you have a project idea, please contact any of the leads in the Bay Area’s four subregions.

•    North:  portions of Sonoma, Napa, Solano Counties and the majority of Marin County -- Harry Seraydarian, North Bay Watershed Association, (415) 389-8237,

•    West: San Francisco, San Mateo Counties -- Cheryl Munoz, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission,; Kellyx Nelson, San Mateo County Resource Conservation District, (650) 712-7765,; Kevin Murray, San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority, (650) 324-1972,

•    South: Santa Clara County -- Brian Mendenhall, Santa Clara Valley Water District, (408)265-2607, ext 3093,; Tracy Hemmeter, (408) 265-2600, 

•    East:  Alameda, Contra Costa Counties -- Mark Boucher, Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, (925) 313-2274,;  Carol Mahoney, Zone 7 Water Agency, (925) 454-5064,

Additionally, you can email a general question to

When are the project proposals due and how should they be submitted?

Project proposal for inclusion in the 2013 Bay Area IRWMP were due September 1, 2012.  This allowed the consultant team to review them to determine if modifications, such as collaborations and/or better integration, would make them more competitive for state grant funds.  It will also allowed the consultant team to apply ranking criteria to the projects that are submitted so that a draft prioritized list of projects can approved by the Coordinating Committee.  The final, prioritized list will be part of the Bay Area IRWMP submittal to the California Department of Water resources in 2013. Projects should be submitted via the project website,, where a web-based template is available. 

What is the objective of the Bay Area IRWMP public involvement process?

Ensuring an open, transparent process of plan development and project prioritization is essential to developing a Bay Area IRWMP that is sustainable and implementable. Ongoing public participation during 2013 Plan process, as well as project identification and project prioritization, will help ensure all the key issues identified in the Plan are addressed and will build the foundation for broad-based support of the Bay Area IRWMP.

How will the Bay Area IRWMP address disadvantaged communities and Native American tribes?

The Coordinating Committee and the public and stakeholder engagement consultants are seeking to determine what water resources-related problems face disadvantaged communities in particular.  California considers a “disadvantaged community” one whose median household incomes less than 80% of the statewide median household income (MHI is about $48,500 per year per household).  Applying 2010 U.S. Census data to graphical information system (GIS) maps, the team is mapping Bay Area disadvantaged communities.  Working with organizations that represent people in vulnerable, disadvantaged communities, the team will seek to identify significant current and potential water resources problems.  The California Department of Water Resources has indicated that in order to qualify for a state IRWM grant, a project serving a disadvantaged community must address a critical water supply or water quality need. 

The CC and the consultants will seek to involve disadvantaged communities in partnering with water resources management agencies to propose water resources projects that will qualify for IRWM grant funding.  If you are aware of water-related problems facing low-income, disadvantaged communities or populations in the Bay Area, please contact us through our information email.

The stakeholder engagement team has identified Bay Area Native American tribal representatives and will seek to identify water resources needs and concerns as well as water resources projects that might address them.  If you are aware of water-related problems facing tribal communities in the Bay Area, please contact us through our information email.

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