Integration of North Monterey County Drought Contingency Plan and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Salinas/Carmel Rivers Basins Studies

The combination of these regional water management studies has opened the door to a remarkable opportunity. Working in concert, the development and sharing of comprehensive technical information between these two studies will provide the greatest potential for stakeholders to make the best, most informed decisions around critical water supply issues.

Drought Contingency Plan and Basin Study Coordination Underway

Federal and local agency stakeholders have been brought together, coordination of efforts is proceeding, and progress is being made on finalizing the scope and costs of these two studies. Among other immediate tasks, stakeholders are appraising the level of effort and complexity of managing multiple surface and groundwater models with climate change analysis, each with intricate layers of questions and issues included in the extensive scope of these investigations.

The common goal is to meet the needs of reliable, affordable water, and address the impacts of climate change. To do this, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is investing in a comprehensive approach to developing climate resiliency: the WaterSMART Basin Studies (Basin Studies) and the Water SMART Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) grants.

These programs are providing for the level of local/Federal collaboration that is critical in understanding data, making informed decisions and, developing and implementing effective water supply adaption strategies.

The Basins Studies will develop leading-edge technical information regarding water supply and demand, to support and provide comprehensive data to local water managers making decisions on how to adapt to impacts associated with competing demands, climate change, and drought.

The DCP is part of the Drought Response Program that seeks to prepare for and address drought in advance of a crisis. Water managers will have the tools to develop and/or update drought plans – the Drought Contingency Plan Process; implement projects that build long-term drought resiliency – Drought Resiliency Projects, and; develop and prepare to implement emergency response actions.