Southern California’s Imperial Valley is home to California’s
drainage success story, one that converted a desert landscape
to an agricultural one, but at the same time created far reaching
Integrated Regional Water Management, commonly known as IRWM,
aims to collectively manage all aspects of water resources in a
This approach includes all constituencies, including those that
traditionally have been outside of the water planning and policy
process such as tribal representatives.
IRWM reflects an increasing regional self-reliance to meet water
supply needs and the recognition that regional water assets, such
as groundwater banking, are necessary to reduce the need for
water conveyed over long distances.
Invasive species, also known as exotics, are plants, animals,
insects, and aquatic species introduced into non-native habitats.
Often, invasive species travel to non-native areas by ship,
either in ballast water released into harbors or attached to the
sides of boats. From there, introduced species can then spread
and significantly alter ecosystems and the natural food chain as
they go. Another example of non-native species introduction is
the dumping of aquarium fish into waterways.
Without natural predators or threats, these introduced species
Irrigation is the artificial supply
of water to grow crops or plants. Obtained from either surface or groundwater, it optimizes
agricultural production when the amount of rain and where it
falls is insufficient. Different irrigation
systems are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but in
practical use are often combined. Much of the agriculture in
California and the West relies on irrigation.