Proposition 50, Chapter 8 (Prop 50), provided approximately $380 million for two types of competitive grants for the IRWM Grant Program, planning and implementation. The Planning Grants fostered development or completion of IRWM Plans or components thereof, to enhance regional planning efforts, and to assist more applicants to become eligible for Implementation Grant funding. Implementation Grants funded projects that met one or more of the program objectives of protecting communities from drought, protecting and improving water quality, and improving local water security by reducing dependence on imported water.
The first Countywide IRWMP was generated over a span of years and included a series of public workshops, stakeholder meetings and generation of the IRWM Plan. The IRWM Plan was completed in 2007 and served as the foundation upon which the Santa Barbara Region was successfully awarded $25 million for 14 water and wastewater projects, programs and infrastructure upgrades.