Watershed Management



Successful watershed management integrates and coordinates activities that affect a watershed’s natural resources and water quality in a comprehensive manner. EDWA collaborates with state and federal agencies that are responsible for maintaining forest and headwater health to ensure that water quality and availability is protected in El Dorado County.

Our work involves advising and assisting with broad countywide watershed issues and promoting a multi-benefit approach to watershed management to support a healthy ecosystem, reduce fire risks, and maintain integrity of the headwaters.

Regional Programs

EDWA was awarded a 2021 Cooperative Watershed Management Program Phase I Grant for forming an Upper American River Watershed Planning Group and starting watershed planning and action/project development. The Upper American River Watershed Planning Group brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, including local land use authorities, water purveyors, resource conservation districts, non-governmental organizations, Tribal Governments, and federal agencies. The planning group meets regularly to provide feedback on the direction and content of the watershed plan. The watershed plan aims to create a resilient watershed in the West Slope that can fulfill the ecological, economic, and social needs of the region through implementable, collaborative, and integrated strategies.

The South Fork of the American River (SOFAR) Cohesive Strategy was established in 2014 for implementing the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy in response to the risk of wildfire throughout the county. The result of a century of fire exclusion and past management decisions have led to complex fire issues that are exacerbated by drought, climate change, uncharacteristic stand structures, fuel loading, insects, and disease. SOFAR serves as an open forum for collaboration among a dedicated group of diverse members, and uses the best-available science to make steady progress towards the three primary goals of the National Cohesive Strategy: restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes, creating fire-adapted communities, and responding to wildfires.