Integrated Regional Water
Management in the
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) is to recognize a mutual understanding among entities in the
greater Madera County area regarding their joint efforts toward
Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) governance, development,
planning, funding, and implementation.
The mutual understanding of the signatories to this MOU (herein
collectively referred to as the “Parties”) will facilitate future
coordination, collaboration, and communication for comprehensive
management of water resources in the greater Madera County area.
State of California desires to foster Integrated Regional Water
Management (IRWM) planning and encourages local public, non-profit, and
private entities to define planning regions appropriate for managing
water resources and to integrate strategies within these planning
comprehensive group of stakeholders, including the Parties, developed an
Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for the greater Madera County
area (IRWMP), which also considers broader watershed issues.
Madera County Board of Supervisors accepted the IRWMP on April 14, 2008.
Prior to entering into this MOU, the respective decision making
body of each Party adopted the IRWMP.
IRWMP defines a water management planning region that takes into
consideration jurisdictional limits, powers and responsibilities, and
watershed and groundwater basin boundaries.
For purposes of this MOU, “Region” refers to the IRWMP water
management planning region as it may be amended from time to time
through amendments to the IRWMP.
resources management authority in the Region is currently distributed
among various public agencies with a range of legal powers and
regulatory responsibilities. These
public agencies have jurisdictional boundaries defined by political
considerations rather than hydrologic conditions.
Therefore, sensible water resources planning and management
frequently requires coordinated actions by multiple jurisdictions.
Private entities within the Region have considerable interests in
cooperating with public entities to protect, manage, and enhance water
resources within the Region.
and through this MOU, various public entities and non-profit entities in
the Region with responsibility and interests in management of water
resources intend to form a regional water management group, pursuant to
Water Code section 10539, for the purposes of governing, further
developing, implementing, and funding the IRWMP, as well as cooperating
with the stakeholders in shared watersheds, either through separate
memorandums of understanding, joint powers agreements, and/or eventual
inclusion of other adjoining areas into the Region by amendment of the
IRWMP (e.g., the portions of the upper Chowchilla and San Joaquin river
watersheds that lie outside of the Madera County boundaries).
Parties desire to link and integrate efforts to jointly oversee the
further development, implementation, funding, and governance of the
The goals of the collaborative effort undertaken by
the Parties pursuant to this MOU are:
develop and implement a governance structure for the IRWMP for the
Region that meets the requirements set forth in the Integrated Regional
Water Management Planning Act of 2002, codified at Water Code sections
10530 et seq., the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection
Fund of 2002, codified at Water Code sections 79500 et seq. (Proposition
50), and the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood
Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, codified at
Public Resources Code section 75001 et seq. (Proposition 84).
3.2 To work together to
develop updates, changes, amendments, additions and/or other
modifications to the IRWMP to ensure that the plan continually utilizes
the best science and data available to address the Region’s changing
conditions, needs and concerns, including but not limited to ecosystem
restoration, environmental and habitat protection and improvement, water
supply reliability, flood management, groundwater management, recreation
and public access, storm water capture and management, water
conservation, water quality protection and improvement, water recycling,
wetlands enhancement and creation, imported water, land use planning,
nonpoint source pollution control, surface storage, watershed planning,
water and wastewater treatment, water transfers and water banking.
3.3 To improve and
maximize cooperation among stakeholders and coordination of public,
private, and non-profit agency plans, programs and projects for mutual
benefit and optimal gain within the Region.
3.4 To help identify,
develop, prioritize, and implement collaborative plans, programs, and
projects that may be beyond the scope or capability of individual
stakeholders, but which would be of mutual benefit if implemented in a
3.5 To facilitate
regional water management efforts that provide multiple benefits and
include one or more of the following elements: water supply (including
without limitation, banking, efficiency, conservation, and reliability),
water quality, flood control, and environmental protection and
3.6 To foster
coordination, collaboration, and communication between stakeholders,
adjacent IRWM regions and other interested parties, to achieve greater
efficiencies, enhance public services, and build public support for
3.7 To realize regional
water management objectives at the least cost possible through mutual
cooperation, elimination of redundancy and to enhance regional
competitiveness for State and Federal grant funding.
3.8 To identify
disadvantaged communities in the Region and take the water-related needs
of those communities into consideration.
Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP). Consistent with
Water Code section 10534, IRWMP hereinafter refers to the comprehensive
plan for the Region as described in the recitals above, including any amendments, revisions, or updates thereto.
with Water Code section 79505(g) and Public Resources Code section
75005(k), “Nonprofit Organization” as used herein means any
nonprofit corporation qualified to do business in California, including
a nonprofit corporation formed pursuant to the Nonprofit Public Benefit
Corporation law (Corporations Code section 5000 et seq.) and qualified
under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
4.3 Project. An action
or construction project that addresses a need identified within the
IRWMP and Water Code section 10537.
4.4 Local Agency. Consistent with Water Code section 10535, “Local Agency” herein
refers to any city, county, city and county, special district, joint
powers authority, or other political subdivision of the state, a public
utility as defined in Section 216 of the Public Utilities Code, or a
mutual water company as defined in Section 2725 of the Public Utilities
Water Management Group (RWMG). Consistent with Water Code section
10539, RWMG generally refers to a group of three or more Local Agencies
in the Region, at least two of which have statutory authority over water
supply or water management, as well as those other entities in the
Region that may be necessary for the further development and
implementation of the IRWMP. As
specifically used in this MOU, RWMG shall refer to the Parties to this
An interested party, including without limitation a Non-Profit Organization, Local
Agency, or private property owner that directly participates in or relies upon
water management within the Region or that represents the interests of
those (including flora and fauna) who do.
Parties and RWMG Members.
Each Party to this MOU must adopt the IRWMP prior to
executing this MOU. For a
Local Agency, adoption of the IRWMP is by formal resolution of the
governing body or its equivalent (e.g., by a board of directors or other
management entity). For any other entities, adoption by way of
acknowledgement of acceptance of the IRWMP by the individual(s)
authorized to bind the entity is required. Additional
Local Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, or other entities in the
Region that desire to participate in the adoption, further development,
funding, and implementation of the IRWMP may seek to join the RWMG at
any time. To join the RWMG, an entity must submit a request to the RWMG.
The RWMG shall determine whether the requesting party is a party
qualified under Water Code section 10539 and this MOU to participate as
a member of the RWMG. If
so, the requesting party may join the RWMG by adopting the IRWMP and
executing this MOU.
The RWMG will determine their governance structure and
Agency. The RWMG shall mutually agree upon a designated signatory Local Agency to
facilitate IRWMP implementation and coordinate RWMG activities in
furtherance of this MOU (Lead Agency).
The Lead Agency will serve at the pleasure of the RWMG.
Unless otherwise designated as the Grant Administrator
responsible for funding or the Project proponent for an individual Project pursuant to this MOU, the Lead
Agency shall not be responsible for any Project, including without
limitation completion, funding, or environmental review thereof.
5.4 Technical Advisory Committee. The RWMG will organize a committee to advise the RWMG and
other Stakeholders concerning implementation, funding, and further
development of the IRWMP. The
RWMG shall appoint individuals to the Technical Advisory Committee who
have technical backgrounds in the fields of water, biology, ecology,
geology, engineering, hydrogeology, planning, resource conservation,
riparian systems, water conservation, and/or water quality.
Appointees to the Technical Advisory Committee shall serve at the
pleasure of the RWMG.
5.5 Approach to Implementing the IRWMP. Any Stakeholder may
propose an implementation project (Project Proposal) to the RWMG at any
time. Each Project Proposal
shall include a funding component, including application and
administration costs, in addition to direct Project costs. Each Project
Proposal must meet the standards identified in the IRWMP or they will
not qualify for additional consideration by the RWMG.
The RWMG will review the Project Proposals for consistency with
the IRWMP. The RWMG will hold two public hearings each year to allow
Stakeholder comments on any Project Proposals.
Notice of each hearing shall be made at least 30 days in advance
to allow all Stakeholders ample time to prepare alternatives, or to
compile data for presentation at the hearing.
Public hearings shall be held at least twice per year, once in
April and once in October, and other times as needed.
5.6 Prioritization of Projects. At least twice a
year, the RWMG will generate and approve a list that prioritizes the
Projects to be carried out within the Region.
prioritized Project list will be
approved by majority vote of the RWMG after receiving input from
Stakeholders at a public hearing held consistent with section 5.5 above.
of IRWMP. The
IRWMP may be amended from time to time by majority vote of the Parties
at a meeting of the RWMG, open to all Stakeholders.
Any member of the RWMG may request that the Lead Agency convene a
meeting of the RWMG, open to all Stakeholders, to consider amendments to
the IRWMP. Except in
unusual circumstances, the IRWMP will be amended no more frequently than
bi-annually in April and October. Any
amendments to the IRWMP must be consistent with Water Code sections
10530 et seq. and any IRWM guidelines of the State Water Resources
Control Board and California Department of Water Resources.
The RWMG shall consider all public input and input from
Stakeholders and shall adopt or reject proposed amendments by majority
vote of the RWMG, after compliance with the publication and notice
requirements set forth in Water Code section 10543.
Implementation. The individual Project
proponent(s) will be responsible for completing their respective
proposed Projects, complying with all applicable laws related thereto,
conducting any necessary environmental review thereon, hiring any
appropriate consultants to assist in administering their respective
Projects, identifying funding for said Projects, and providing Project
reports to the Lead Agency. The
Parties will reasonably cooperate with the individual Project
proponent(s) to support Projects approved by the RWMG.
RWMG will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the IRWMP.
The Technical Advisory Committee will regularly report to the
RWMG regarding progress on the development and implementation of the
IRWMP. The Lead Agency will
be responsible for coordinating data collection among the Parties and
dissemination to the RWMG. Unless
specifically tasked therewith, the Lead Agency is not responsible for
data production or collection.
RWMG will designate the appropriate Local Agency or Non-Profit
Organization within the RWMG, or other appropriate third-party grant
administrator, (hereafter referred to as a “Grant Administrator”) to
apply for grant funds and other potentially available funding.
The Grant Administrator for each grant application should have a
mission and expertise consistent with the purpose of the subject grant(s). The grant applications shall adhere to the Project
prioritization identified by the RWMG.
Funding for any grant application shall be provided for by the
Local Agency(ies) that will benefit from the grant, as determined by the
Awards and Agreement. Unless otherwise designated by the RWMG, the Grant
Administrator designated to apply for the identified grant funds
pursuant to section 5.10 above will be the grantee and administer the
grant on behalf of the RWMG and Stakeholders.
The individual Project proponent will be responsible for
compiling any and all documentation for the respective Project that may
be required by the grantor or requested by the Grant Administrator.
The individual Project proponent shall timely provide any such
documentation to the Grant Administrator.
A Party to this MOU may withdraw from participation upon 30 days
advance notice to the other Parties.
A withdrawing party will remain obligated for its proportionate
share of any financial obligation
incurred in furtherance of this MOU and/or implementation of the IRWMP
prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
5.13 Personnel and Financial Resources. The general managers and/or other authorized officials of
each Party will periodically meet to ensure that adequate resources are
available to the RWMG to implement the MOU.
In the event sufficient funding is not available to implement the
MOU, the Parties agree to exercise in good faith all reasonable efforts
to identify and provide for adequate funding to implement the MOU.
5.14 Other On-Going Regional Efforts. The IRWMP is separate from efforts of other organizations to
develop water-related plans on a regional basis around Madera County.
As the IRWMP is implemented, work products may be shared to
provide other entities and groups with current information. The Parties
agree to cooperate with the stakeholders in shared watersheds, either
through separate memorandums of understanding, joint powers agreements,
and/or eventual inclusion of other adjoining areas into the Region by
amendment of the IRWMP (e.g., the upper Chowchilla and San Joaquin river
watersheds outside of the Madera County boundaries).
of Memorandum of Understanding. This MOU may be amended only by a subsequent written
agreement approved and executed by all of the Parties.
If one or more of the Parties propose amendments to the MOU, the
Lead Agency will convene a meeting to vote on the proposed amendments.
If a majority of the RWMG votes in favor of the proposed
amendments, the MOU as proposed for amendment shall be approved by the
decision-making bodies of the Parties within 30 days of the affirmative
vote. Any Parties not
wishing to continue in the MOU due to the amendments or modifications
will have no obligation to sign the amended MOU.
The amendments will take effect 30 days after the affirmative
vote of a majority of the RWMG so long as, by that time, at least three
Local Agencies, at least two of which have authority over water supply
or management, have signed the amended MOU.
This MOU may be signed in any number of counterparts by the
Parties, each of which will be deemed to be an original, and all of
which together will be deemed to be one and the same instrument.
Party shall use its best efforts to, in good faith, work towards
completion of the objectives of this MOU and the satisfactory
performance of its terms. The
Parties will reasonably cooperate with each other to carry out the
purpose and intent of this MOU.
Parties shall make reasonable efforts to resolve any disputes that may
arise from this MOU in a prompt and timely manner.
The Parties must apply the dispute resolution process set forth
in this section to all disputes arising under this MOU.
In the event of a dispute, the Party claiming a dispute shall
give notice of the dispute to the Lead Agency.
Such notice shall include a brief description of the matter in
dispute and the relief sought. Upon
receipt of the dispute notice, the Lead Agency shall immediately notify
all Parties of the dispute and timely convene at least two RWMG meetings
to resolve the dispute. If
the dispute is not resolved in these meetings, the Parties shall
consider terminating or amending this MOU.
Prior to entering into any legal action arising out of this MOU,
the Parties hereby commit to first pursue mediation.
In such event, the Parties shall select a neutral mediator by
majority vote. If the Parties cannot come to majority agreement, the
Lead Agency will select a neutral mediator. Costs of the mediator shall
be borne by the Parties in equal shares, with the Parties bearing their
own costs of participation. The dispute resolution process called for in
this section is binding on Parties to this MOU only to the extent of
their mutual understanding herein and in no way affects the method by
which Parties can lawfully resolve disputes concerning their legal or
regulatory obligations arising under any other law, agreement, or
MOU shall not be construed to shift liability from any given Party to
another for any actions taken in furtherance of this MOU.
Each Party will remain wholly responsible for any actions it
takes pursuant to this MOU. Each Party agrees, to the fullest extent
permitted by law, to indemnify, defend, and hold all other Parties and
any directors, officers, agents, employees, and insurers thereof from
and against any and all claims, judgments, damages, penalties, costs,
liabilities, and losses arising out of or related in any way to each
Party’s respective activities in furtherance of this MOU.
Date; Term. This MOU
shall take effect upon signature of three or more Local Agencies, at
least two of which have statutory authority over water supply or water
management, and shall thereafter continue so long as the criteria set
forth in this section are met until terminated by mutual written
agreement of the Parties.
TO THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
We, the duly authorized undersigned representatives of our respective
entities, acknowledge the above as our understanding of the intent to
oversee the governance, funding, further development, and implementation
of the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for the Region.
REGIONAL WATER MANAGEMENT GROUP