The Benefits of OWOW

OWOW integrates different disciplines such as: water supply, water quality, recycled water, stormwater management, water use efficiency, land use, energy use, climate change, and habitat, while Disadvantaged Communities and Native American tribal community water issues receive special focus.

Through this integration, participants conduct regional planning and produce shared goals and integrated thinking. When it comes time to implement projects, because the plan was crafted together, those projects have multiple benefits that reflect the interests of all.


Developing a governance model that matched the diversity of participation was an important goal of the OWOW Program and is reflected today in the OWOW Steering Committee. The Committee includes elected, appointed, public, private and non-profit members. The Committee makes decisions about the program in an advisory role to the SAWPA Commission, which is the state-approved regional water management group. The links below show each component of the OWOW Governance model including the OWOW Pillars (the workgroups in the watershed), OWOW Steering Committee, and the SAWPA Commission.


Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM)

Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to manage water and watersheds in a region. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involves multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and addresses the issues and differing perspectives of everyone involved through mutually beneficial solutions.


The Santa Ana River Watershed Integrated Regional Water Management Plan is known by stakeholders as the “One Water One Watershed” (OWOW) Plan, a name that originates in the plan’s comprehensive view of the watershed and water issues; one in which all types of water (imported, local surface and groundwater, stormwater, and wastewater effluent) are viewed as components of a single water system, inextricably linked to land use and land cover.

OWOW Plan Update 2018

This One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Plan Update 2018 is the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan for the Santa Ana River Watershed. The OWOW Plan Update 2018 was written by and for stakeholders throughout the watershed.

This plan describes how collaborative watershed planning, water and land management, and project implementation supports improved sustainability, resilience, and quality of life throughout the Santa Ana River Watershed through 2040.

OWOW 2.0 Plan
Moving into Implementation

SAWPA launched the update to the OWOW 2.0 Plan on April 20, 2011, focusing on the theme “Moving into Implementation” to encourage the scoping and research included in the original OWOW Plan be the starting point for broad implementation of watershed-scale efforts.


OWOW 1.0 Plan
Moving Towards Sustainability

SAWPA launched the stakeholder-driven effort to create the OWOW Plan April 17, 2007.

The core of the approach was for the plan to be crafted, with facilitation by SAWPA, by the engaged people and agencies from across the watershed.

Grant Funded Activities

Funding has been made available to OWOW through IRWM’s three voter-approved water bonds: Proposition 50, 84, and 1. These bonds have distributed over $203 million in funds to over projects in the watershed ($25 million in Prop 50, $115 million through four rounds of Proposition 84, and $63 million in Proposition 1).

  • Previous
  • Next

Disadvantaged Communities Involvement Program

This Program explores the strengths and needs of overburdened communities, through engagement and education, and ensures integrated water management projects that are supported by communities are made ready. ​

Water-Energy Community Action Network (WE CAN)

The Water-Energy Community Action Network (WE CAN) is a program supported by the California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to help the people of California adapt to climate change, and mitigate…

2015 Proposition 84 IRWM Implementation Grant

The Prop 84 2015 IRWM grant program disbursed the remaining grant funding under the Proposition 84 Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond…

Proposition 84 IRWM 2014 Drought Grant

As a result of a declared drought state of emergency, DWR made changes to the funding solicitations under Prop 84 IRWM Program.​ The PA 22 Committee…

Proposition 84 Round 2 IRWM Implementation

Under the SAWPA integrated regional water management planning process, projects were solicited for inclusion in the SAWPA One Water One Watershed (OWOW) 2.0 Plan.

Proposition 84 Round 1 IRWM Implementation

The IRWM Grant Program is designed to encourage integrated regional management of water resources and provide funding for projects that support integrated water management planning and…

Proposition 50

In March 2007, the SWRCB approved $25 million in grants to SAWPA to build needed infrastructure in the Santa Ana River Watershed. This funding comes from the voter-approved Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water,…

Proposition 13 SCIWP

The Southern California Integrated Watershed Program (SCIWP) provides $235 million in funding, through the Waterboards to SAWPA for the purpose of rehabilitating and improving the Santa Ana River Watershed. The projects were…

  • OWOW Plan Update 2018


    Crafted over the past two years with engagement from hundreds of participants, the One Water One Watershed Plan Update 2018 describes the shared goals for achieving a sustainable Santa Ana River watershed, and recommended strategies for getting there by 2040. Compliant with the 2016 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Standards issued by Department of Water Resources, the OWOW Plan Update 2018 supports water and land management planning throughout the watershed.

    Comments on the draft version of the Plan were received from six organizations by the end of the public comment period, which ended on December 14, 2018. Once the Final is approved the SAWPA Commission it will be posted on SAWPA’s website. The draft Plan and the comments received are provided on the following links at the following links:

  • Call for Projects

    Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Proposition 1, Round 1 Grant Funding

    DWR recently issued a Draft 2018 Proposal Solicitation Package for Round 1 of Proposition 1 IRWM grant funding (view it here). Note that the Santa Ana River watershed’s IRWM grant application is to be prepared by the OWOW program as a regional suite of projects.

    Proposition 1 authorized $510 million for the State’s IRWM grant program, of which $63 million was allocated for the Santa Ana Funding Area. 10% of the grant funding available for implementation projects is reserved for projects serving disadvantaged communities.

    SAWPA finalized its call for projects for this Proposition 1 IRWM Round 1 funding opportunity on January 31, 2019. There is approximately $24 million expected to be available for the Santa Ana Funding Area in this round of funding. Projects can be reviewed here:

    Please contact Ian Achimore with any questions: