Bay Area IRWMP Sections
The Regional Group section will introduce the regional associations, water management groups, and individual agencies that are signatories to the LOMU. These agencies and organizations which are responsible for development, implementation, and adoption of the IRWMP will be described, along with each organization’s role in management of Bay Area water or natural resources. The role of each agency in implementation of the IRWMP will also be addressed. The overall geographic extent of the IRWMP will be defined, and explanation will be provided as to how the overall IRWMP fits in with other regional and local plans. The IRWMP will also provide a list of city and county jurisdictions, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholder groups who are active in water resources planning in the Bay Area, and therefore may participate in future priority projects.
The Region Description discusses the Bay Area IRWMP region, the San Francisco Bay watershed. The Region includes portions of all nine counties of the Bay Area. The following information relating to the region will be compiled and summarized in texts and on maps and charts, as appropriate:
- Jurisdictional boundaries (e.g. county lines, city lines, special districts, service areas, etc.).
- Physiographic boundaries (e.g. watershed boundaries, groundwater basins, etc.).
- Major water-related infrastructure.
- Human demographics (e.g., population densities, languages, income levels, age structure, residence times, etc..
- Regional growth projections.
- Wetlands and riparian habitats.
- Climatic statistics (e.g., rainfall, evapotranspiration rates, temperature , etc.).
- Geology and soils.
- Land-use coverages as related to water management (e.g., open space, agriculture, residential, light industry, heavy industry, manufacturing, etc.).
- Water supply and demand information.
- Water quality information.
- Publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs).
- Major flood control and stormwater facilities.
- Other characteristics, as appropriate.
Wherever possible, georeferenced data will be collected to facilitate map creation. Regional- and watershed-scale maps will be produced to illustrate physical data. Detailed description of existing water infrastructure and interrelationships will be provided.
The objectives presented in each FAD will be reviewed, refined, and combined to develop a comprehensive list of objectives addressing all water related issues including, but not limited to, water supply, groundwater management, ecosystem restoration, flood protection, and water quality. Regional planning objectives will be fully explained in the Objectives section of the IRWMP, and the section will provide specific information related to meeting both short and long-term goals. Further, major water-related conflicts within the region will be identified.
The draft list of objectives will be presented to stakeholders at Workshop #1. The draft list will then be revised based on stakeholder input in order to be subsequently incorporated into the draft Objectives section.
Water Management Strategies
The Water Management Strategies section will compile the water management strategies identified in the FADs into a comprehensive list addressing all water-related issues, and will discuss specifics of these water management strategies. At a minimum, this section will cover the water management strategies specified in the IRWMP minimum standards.
The Integration section of the Bay Area IRWMP will present processes to integrate sub-elements, objectives, and broad categories of projects and program ideas from each of the FADs, guided by the Integration White Paper. This task also involves examining the Water Management Strategies and associated projects to identify those with the highest potential to meet multiple objectives and regional priority needs. This section will demonstrate how water management strategies will work together, or the synergistic benefits of integrating multiple strategies. This will include integration of elements related to stormwater quality and improvements in urban runoff management. The essence of this task is to (1) bring the four FADs together into a coherent plan, and (2) highlight projects and programs that can (or do) share resources, offer efficiencies, and provide synergy and multiple benefits across functional areas and between agencies.
As part of developing this section of the Bay Area IRWMP, Workshop #2 will be held to obtain input from stakeholders and the public regarding opportunities for integration of water management strategies, projects, and programs. This workshop will also serve as a coordination vehicle for agencies seeking partnerships and looking for collaboration opportunities.
A Regional Priorities section will present the regional water management priorities, the process by which they were established, and the process by which they will be refined to respond to regional changes. Decision-making for the Bay Area IRWMP will be based on the developed Project Evaluation Framework.
Short-term and long-term regional water management priorities identified in the individual FADs will be refined to incorporate stakeholder feedback resulting from Workshops #1 and #2. A comprehensive list of priorities from all four functional areas will be incorporated into a comprehensive list of Regional Priorities.
Project prioritization criteria will be developed, based on the water management priorities identified in each functional area, and structured into a Project Evaluation Framework. The Evaluation Framework will use regional prioritization criteria to prioritize regional projects and identify priority projects for regional implementation. The testing and application of the Evaluation Framework will examine how potential projects can be implemented to provide mutual water management benefits, are compliant with regulatory and environmental documentation requirements. This will be developed as part of the adaptive management strategy. Potential projects will also be evaluated for their interaction with existing and operating physical, biological, and hydrological processes.
The Implementation Plan will include recommended projects and water management strategies that meet multiple plan objectives as identified in the Integration section. The implementation plan will achieve the following.
- Identify current status of each project and management strategy.
- Discuss economic and technical feasibility of each project on a programmatic level.
- Include timelines for implementation that extend beyond the adoption of the IRWMP.
- Identify roles and responsibilities for IRWMP implementation.
- Identify institutional structure to ensure Plan implementation.
- Establish a clear method for ensuring that implementation will be successful.
- Define how progress will be assessed, including specific timelines and commitments.
The draft implementation plan will be presented at a Workshop #3. The intent of the IRWMP is not to supersede or impede individual agencies’ or group’s efforts in planning for, prioritizing, and implementing water and watershed management strategies or projects. Instead, the IRWMP will be implemented in addition to each agency’s plans and projects and will serve as a guide for implementation of regional projects.
Impacts and Benefits
The Impacts and Benefits section will discuss both direct and indirect environmental impacts and direct and indirect benefits to environmental justice or disadvantaged communities. Analysis of potential impacts and benefits associated with implementation of the projects will be discussed at a screening level (i.e., program level analysis; no site reconnaissance). This section will discuss the advantages of a regional approach to water management, particularly as they relate to achieving the objectives established in the Objectives section. Discussion of applicable environmental requirements for project implementation (including, but not limited to CEQA) will be provided.
CEQA compliance will be a requirement for all implementation projects. Some projects may have already completed CEQA certification, while other proposed projects will need to undertake appropriate environmental review. The IRWMP is not intended to be a CEQA compliance document. Instead, entities responsible for implementing projects have the responsibility of ensuring that all appropriate environmental approvals have been met.
Potential impacts and benefits will be presented to stakeholders (e.g. Bay Area TCC and/or Bay Area Water Forum meeting) for feedback and comment.
Technical Analysis and Plan Performance
The Technical Analysis and Plan Performance section will document the data, technical methods, and analysis used in the development of the FADs and overall IRWMP. These will entail a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures that comprehensively assess and evaluate the effectiveness of recommended projects and the overall IRWMP. Data gaps, including any need for any additional water supply or water quality monitoring, will be identified and local agency and regional performance measures will be compiled and reviewed to identify those that are most relevant to the IRWMP.
The final list of performance measures will consider existing local agency performance measures, monitoring systems used to gather performance data, and adaptive management strategies responsive to performance data.
The Bay Area IRWMP will not be static plan, but a process for ongoing regional planning. While the Bay Area IRWMP will be completed by the end of 2006, this Plan will effectively be a “living” document, subject to continual change and update. In support of this vision, an “adaptive management” approach to IRWMP implementation and oversight will be developed. The adaptive management strategy will consider how the Evaluation Framework (see Integration section) can be adjusted over time to continue providing mutual water management benefits, given ongoing changes within the region and additional monitoring information made available over time. A component of this adaptive management strategy can include an approach for testing the Evaluation Framework for future adjustments in the IRWMP process.