Assistance +
Innovation

Overview

 

Innovation is the key to addressing growing and evolving water resource-related challenges in the county. In addition to incorporating innovative ideas into water planning and management, EDWA works to foster public education and awareness about the importance of sustainable water management. We provide technical assistance for small water systems in the county and pursue funding opportunities with regional, state, and federal partners to achieve greater countywide water reliability and resilience.



Assistance and Innovation Activities

EDWA identifies, evaluates, and pursues state and federal funding opportunities that benefit water systems and residents throughout the county. EDWA also serves as a technical advisor for small water systems to ensure that they have access to grant programs and are well positioned to submit an application.

EDWA is a proud sponsor of Ag in the Classroom – El Dorado County, which provides hands-on agricultural education reaching more than 2,500 students in the county each year. Funding from EDWA has been used to expand and improve the organization’s irrigation and watershed educational offerings which teach students about water and its importance to local agriculture, the environment, and the local economy. Educating youth about the role of water in El Dorado County will create stewards who will become water conscious residents.

EDWA contracts with agricultural irrigation specialists to work with farmers directly to increase water efficiency for their crops. This is an important tool in demonstrating the county’s efficient use of agricultural water supplies and is an adopted best management practice for meeting state water quality regulations. This program is especially critical in the midst of ongoing drought as it assists growers that rely on wells that have not been sufficiently recharged in several years.

EDWA works to support local water agencies impacted by fires in their recovery efforts. We also work collaboratively with Resource Conservation Districts and the U.S. Forest Service on watershed restoration efforts in areas that were damaged from wildfires. Our work includes partnering with El Dorado County's Office of Wildfire Preparedness and Resilience as well as providing technical expertise and advisory support to help identify state and federal cost recovery. Our comprehensive wildfire factsheet and wildfire infrastructure factsheet have more information on how we are partnering with other agencies to address wildfire threats in El Dorado County. 

This program is designed to modernize snowpack monitoring technology and satellite communications to provide critical real-time data on snowpack conditions, watershed climate trends, and water availability. This data is needed to support improved water management and help the region better prepare for droughts. Implementation of the program is a partnership between EDWA and the University of California (UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Merced Sierra Nevada Research Institute) with financial support from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and collaboration with local water purveyors, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, California Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) helps local governments respond to acute pandemic response needs, fill revenue shortfalls, and support the communities hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Since the ARPA was signed into law, through an agreement with the County of El Dorado, EDWA is working with local water agencies to identify water infrastructure projects eligible for this funding. We are currently administering water-related ARPA funds for the county.