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Joint Task Force on California Watershed Management
California Watershed Management Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)

The MOU signed on April 28 between Cal/EPA and the Resources Agency is a significant step forward in making government more efficient when it comes to protecting, restoring and cleaning up the state's watersheds, rivers, streams, lakes, and coast.

Required by legislation (AB 2534, Pavley, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2002) this MOU establishes a framework for state agencies and their boards, commissions, departments, authority, conservancies to coordinate and integrate watershed programs that manage California's natural resources. The legislation indicates that watershed management principles are a sound approach to restore and manage California's rivers, streams, lakes, coastlines and lands. It also recognizes that the State needs to invest in watershed management partnerships that use a community-based collaborative approach to meeting the state's watershed management goals.

The MOU has two major goals:

  1. Improve coordination and integration of watershed policies, funding and program implementation
  2. Provide advice and recommendations to the Agency Secretaries for awarding grants for local watershed plans and projects for the benefit of local watershed management efforts.
The MOU also establishes the framework for the new Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) and the California Watershed Council.

California Watershed Council:
The Council will provide advice and recommendations for implementation of the MOU and Watershed Strategic Plan. The Council will be a partnership of state agencies, the public, regional and local watershed organizations, interested federal and local governmental agencies, tribal nations, water management groups and other organizations working to improve the health of California's watersheds and public members. The Council will conduct its business in an open and transparent manner.

Timelines of MOU:
The implementation of the MOU will take several years. The major focus in the first year will be a review of existing fund programs for better coordination/integration of program elements, improve data information access for program decision-makers and the public, and examine any other issues identified by the Council.

This MOU is a major step undertaken by both Agencies to improve services to local groups and communities to better manage their natural resources in a manner that meets the needs of both State government and local priorities.

The MOU will be revised annually.

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