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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did this planning process come about and who is responsible for it?

In April 2009, the Yuba IRWMP, a group of 26 stakeholders in the region, applied through the State’s IRWMP Region Acceptance Process (RAP) to have the Yuba IRWM region established. Once accepted, the Yuba region became eligible to apply to the IRWMP Grant Program. The Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) agreed to serve as the Applicant for a Planning Grant to provide funds for developing an IRWMP. The planning proposal was accepted, and YCWA holds the signed contract and is responsible for making sure the project is in compliance with the contract. A governing body made up of a diverse mix of local stakeholders makes decisions about content of the plan. See #6, Regional Water Management Group (RWMG), below.

2. In a nutshell, what is the Plan process from here on out?

All IRWMPs in California must conform to the IRWMP Guidelines established by the state.

The process that will be used to develop the sections required by the state is anticipated to take place from June 2013 through Fall 2014. The scope of work and schedule for the IRWMP development were part of the contract agreement between YCWA and the state. YCWA is working with Burdick & Company of Auburn, CA, to develop the document.

Basically the process will follow the steps identified below:

A consultant team interviews regional stakeholders to identify process preferences following new or emerging issues and an updated status of IRWMP Projects.

Initial RWMG meeting to kick-off the update process (June 19, 2013).
Consulting team continues “circuit riding” across the region to contact attendees from the June 19th meeting, new stakeholders identify at the June 19th meeting and those stakeholders who are not successfully contacted in the first round of outreach. Beginning with the October 16 RWMG meeting the consulting team will begin presenting updated IRWMP sections for review and comment.

The process of review comment and revision will continue through summer 2013 at which point it is anticipated that the majority of the document will be ready for finalization

Project identification development and integration began with the first round of stakeholder outreach meetings in June 2013, and will continue through early summer 2014. Throughout the duration of plan update, RWMG and/or consulting team members will make presentations to organizations, boards, agencies, and the general public as required to ensure transparency of process and full participation by all interested parties.

Targeted outreach to disadvantaged communities, area Tribes, and diverse populations across the region began in July 2013 and will continue for the duration of the project.

The RWMG may identify subcommittees to assist in updating various plan chapters.

A Table of Contents for the document is available.

3. How long will Plan development take?

In some regions, it has taken two years to develop an IRWMP. The Yuba IRWM region predicts the plan development will take 12 to 16 months, anticipated to be done by March 2013.

4. How long is the plan good for?

The planning horizon is about 30 years. The final adopted plan will inform water management discussions and project development activities for three to five years, until such time as DWR updates its plan guidelines. Once DWR publishes revised guidelines, the plan will be updated to reflect the new mandates. This is anticipated to update three to five years.

5. What authority does the IRWMP have regarding water rights, or existing plans or policies that have been developed by elected representatives or by agency staff (such as General Plans, land use policies or zoning, water management plans, forest management plans)?

The Plan has no authority to influence any water rights, and has no regulatory or statutory standing to impact or change local or agency decision-making.

6. What is the RWMG, the Regional Water Management Group?

The state IRWMP process calls for a local governing body called a Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) to oversee plan development processes and content, including projects.

Initially, the RWMG is made up of the local stakeholders who participated in preparation of the initial IRWMP. At its first meeting on June 19, the group decided that ongoing recruitment for participation in the RWMG by tribal and DAC interests would continue throughout the life of the plan, that all decisions would be made first by consensus and second by a super majority vote if no consensus would be reached, and that the capacity to vote on decisions required consistent attendance at ongoing RWMG meetings.

7. How will decisions be made and by whom?

The Regional Water Management Group will be the decision-making body for the IRWMP. As stated above (number 6), the group will make decisions in the following manner: group discussions at RWMG meetings following review of supporting materials and information, and use of 75% super majority vote in situation where consensus cannot be reached along with the opportunity to visit decisions at any point and time in the future based on a request by individual RWMG members.

8. How do Projects get identified and selected?

Potential projects can be suggested by local stakeholders, suggested by project team members, or evolve from the planning process. A variety of water-resources-related projects can be considered. Most appropriate will be those that respond to identified issues. The RWMG and the project team provide direct and personal outreach to organizations and agencies across the region to assist in developing projects or configuring existing projects to address identified issues.

Projects can be at various stages of readiness – conceptual, partially developed, and ready to go. Only projects that are “ready to go – often called “shovel ready” – can be included in a funding proposal to the state for implementation funds. However, the DWR guidelines make it clear that all projects which address identified issues regardless of their individual ready-to-proceed may be included in the plan.

The project team will work to integrate projects to make them more competitive for funding. The RWMG will prioritize the projects and determine which should be included in the plan, and/or any future funding applications.

9. How can I participate?

Interested citizens are strongly encouraged to participate in the IRWM Plan Development Process. Here are a few ways to get involved:

Attend RWMG meetings
Volunteer to serve on a Work Group
Submit a Project idea link to Projects drop down

10. How can I stay abreast of developments?

Attend RWMG meetings – link to meetings

Check out updates on website, yubaIRWMP.org.  You can also sign up there to receive updates need a sign-up for updates place.

Local libraries:  As part of the IRWMP process, libraries in the region will receive hard copies and CDs of key documents will be available for check-out as they become available.

For additional information, contact:

~ Katie Burdick (for overall project information, issues concerning DAC/tribal/EJ involvement)
530/823-1310

~ Karen Quidachay (for specific content of plan chapters)
530/903-0116