The Santa Cruz Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program provides a framework for local stakeholders to manage this region’s water and water-related resources. The Santa Cruz IRWM Plan was developed in response to California’s IRWM planning initiative to promote an informed, locally-driven, and consensus-based approach to water resources management.

The IRWM Plan includes strategies for developing and implementing policies and projects to ensure sustainable water use, reliable water supply, better water quality, improved flood protection and stormwater management, and environmental stewardship.  Find out more
Santa Cruz IRWM
IRWM Plan Update 2014
The County of Santa Cruz in collaboration with the local agencies, stakeholders and in partnership with the Regional Water Management Foundation (RWMF) updated the IRWM Plan to:
Remain current in addressing region’s challenges
  • Review and update goals and objectives
  • Identify water resource management strategies
  • Complete technical studies
  • Update list of projects from stakeholders
Meet the state’s new IRWM Plan standards
  • Climate change response actions
  • Relation of local water planning and land use planning
This work was funded in part through a competitive grant awarded by the Department of Water Resources and with local agency funds.  

DAC Involvement Project Solicitation
The Santa Cruz region accepted project submittals for the DAC Involvement funding until May 9, 2016.  Project forms at available here. For information or assistance contact us.

Information is also available from DWR on the Prop 1 DAC Involvement Program.

2014 IRWM Project Solicitation
The 2014 Santa Cruz IRWM Plan project submission period is closed. 76 projects were evaluated and scored (Scoring Criteria) (Project List).

News and Updates
August 1, 2016 - DWR released the final versions of the Proposition 1 IRWM Grant Program documents, including: 
  • 2016 IRWM Grant Program Guidelines
  • Planning Grant Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP)
  • Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Involvement Request for Proposal (RFP)
January 13, 2016 - Santa Cruz Region to receive $1.2m for water supply and water recycling projects; DWR final funding recommendations for 2015 IRWM Implementation Grants

October 29, 2015 - DWR issued its draft funding recommendations for the Implementation Grant program. The Santa Cruz region is recommended to receive $1.2m, this is a partial award of 25% of the amount requested in the funding proposal. Final funding recommendations are expected in January 2016.

August 7, 2015 – Santa Cruz IRWM submits a funding proposal to DWR's Implementation Grant program. Following an evaluation of the projects in the Santa Cruz IRWM Plan and solicitation of interest in spring 2015, projects were selected by the IRWM Steering Committee for inclusion in the proposal. These include:
  • Tait Wells Replacement – City of Santa Cruz 
  • Bonita Hexavalent Chromium Treatment Facility – Soquel Creek Water District 
  • Davenport Recycled Water Plant – County of Santa Cruz
  • Grant Administration – Regional Water Management Foundation 

DWR is in the process of reviewing proposals and its funding recommendations will be announced in November 2015.  

May 20, 2015 - DWR has released the 2015 IRWM Program Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PDF). Applications are due August 7, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

April 11, 2015 - State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium from 9 am to 5 pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium: 307 Church St., Santa Cruz. 

March 12, 2015 - Draft Guidelines and PSP Released for 2015 Implementation Grant Solicitation.

February 25, 2015 - DWR posted an updated report on IRWM.

February 11, 2015 - DWR launches a new interactive mapping application Water Management Planning Tool.

February 2, 2015 -  Recommendations from the state-wide Disadvantaged Communities Visioning Workshop was published.

November 4, 2014 -- The Department of Water Resources approves Final Awards for the 2014 Drought Grant Solicitation.

October 27, 2014 -- The Department of Water Resources published the IRWM Grant Solicitations Schedule.

August 11, 2014 -- The Department of Water Resources posts summary of submitted applications for the 2014 Drought Grant Solicitation.

June 2, 2014 -- The Department of Water Resources announces the release of the Final 2014 IRWM Guidelines and PSP for Expedited 2014 Drought Grant Solicitation.

DRAFT Plan available for comment until Nov.  4, 2016.  Documents are available here.

2016 San Lorenzo River Symposium Flier


Meetings and Workshops

Prior Events & Meetings

January 28, 2016 from 7 - 9pm; open house starting at 6:30pm
New Brighton Middle School Auditorium

An event sponsored by: LAFCO, Regional Water Management Foundation, and the County of Santa Cruz.

October 8, 2015 at 2pm

IRWM Regional Water Management Group Meeting
Location: Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
     7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos


April 8, 2015, Wednesday, 9 - 11am

IRWM Regional Water Management Group Meeting
Location: Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County
     7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos

AGENDA (PDF), Meeting Presentation (PDF), San Lorenzo River Watershed Restoration Presentation (PDF)


September 17, 2014, Wednesday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Film Screening of Thirsty for Justice & Community Forum --
Learn about IRWM outreach to economically disadvantaged communities and stakeholders in Watsonville (Presented in English and Spanish)

Location: Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main St., 4th Floor Watsonville, 95076

FlyerFilm Trailer


August 27, 2014, Wednesday, 1:00pm

Public Meeting – Regional Water Management Group 
IRWM Plan Update 2014 Adoption

Location: Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County                   7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos

Agenda;  IRWM Plan Update 2014 (Web)


July 16, 2014, Wednesday, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

County Water Advisory Commission – Special Meeting                 Presentation of the IRWM Plan for the Santa Cruz Region

Location: County Health Center at 1080 Emeline, Santa Cruz 

Agenda (PDF) Presentation (PDF)


April 24, 2014, Thursday, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

IRWM Meeting - Drought Projects Solicitation 

Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center, Santa Cruz

Presentation (PDF)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------March 21, 2014, Friday, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Information session on IRWM Planning Studies

Location: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

IRWM PlanningSummary of Technical Studies (PDF)


February 4, 2014, Tuesday, 3:00pm - 4:30pm.

IRWM Project Solicitation Informational Workshop
Presentation. Workshop summary.
Project solicitation process summary for stakeholders 

Location: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County