The U.S. Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) program allows all bureaus of the Department to collaboratively work with States, Tribes, local governments, and non-governmental organizations to pursue a sustainable water supply for the Nation. This is done through a framework that provides federal leadership and assistance on the efficient use of water, and by integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural resources.
Basin Studies, one of the tools of this program, are basin-wide efforts to evaluate and address the impacts of climate change, and define options for meeting future water demands in river basins in the western United States where imbalances in water supply and demand exist or are projected.
The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) partnered in the WaterSMART Santa Ana Watershed Basin Study (Study). The work done under the Study was used to help SAWPA update its One Water One Watershed (OWOW) Plan. OWOW is an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) for the Santa Ana River Watershed (SARW) that serves as the blueprint for SAWPA, its member agencies and key stakeholders to effectively manage water resources over the next 30 years.
The Santa Ana Watershed Basin Study illustrates how effective collaboration can improve water management. This Study takes a crest-to-coast and corner-to-corner approach throughout a 2,400-square-mile watershed, which encompasses everything from beach to mountain communities, to address the area’s unique water resource challenges. The SARW is home to more than 6 million people, and tens of millions more people visit the area each year. The region also has a large manufacturing, industrial, and agricultural base. More than 350 water, wastewater, and groundwater management, flood control, environmental and other non-governmental organizations, are working together as partners with SAWPA on the OWOW Plan.
Through the Basin Study Program, Reclamation is partnering with SAWPA and its stakeholders to update key components of the Plan, now known as OWOW 2.0.