IRWM Roundtable of Regions
SECTION I: Introduction
The Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Roundtable of Regions (Roundtable) is an informal but well-established collaborative network of representatives from organizations and agencies engaged in the current, ongoing, and future success of the IRWM Program in California, building water resilience at the local level. The purpose of the Roundtable is to enhance the successful implementation of IRWM Principles in California – and exists to build and leverage trusted relationships among organizations engaged in the IRWM Program and other regional water resilience efforts. Roundtable members work in concert as equal partners pursuing the common goal of successful implementation of the IRWM practices.
Each IRWM Region is unique, but all IRWM regions in the State share many common interests. The Roundtable provides a forum for people implementing IRWM programs to discuss those shared interests, and to share information about best practices as well as their successes and challenges. It also offers a forum for collaborating to provide input to the State on the IRWM Program, and other programs and initiatives of interest to the membership.
The Roundtable of Regions began in 2006 with the regions that participated in the first round of IRWM implementation grants under Proposition 50. The Roundtable became a way of sharing information and troubleshooting through the process. Since then, the Roundtable has grown to include representatives from most of the 48 Regions in all 12 Funding Areas of the State.
SECTION II: Goals
The goals of the Roundtable are:
Planning for long-term sustainability,
Participatory decision making,
Management based on collaborative planning and sound science,
Realistic measurements of outcomes, and
Continuous improvement of institutional capacity at all levels.
SECTION III: Membership
The Roundtable welcomes all groups or persons who are actively working on developing and/or implementing IRWM Plans. Membership is open to representatives of all IRWM Regional Water Management Groups, regardless of where they are in the IRWM process, and any organization or person engaged in regional water management and local water resilience within California. Members must be active participants in a local IRWM region. Staff from state agencies are welcome in an advisory capacity. Participation in the Roundtable is not contingent on financial support of the Roundtable.
SECTION IV: Attendance
There are no attendance requirements. We believe that members find value in the Roundtable and encourage all to participate as much as possible.
SECTION V: Organization and Administration
The organizational Network structure includes:
Ad Hoc Committees
Network Coordinator Cost Share Agencies
SECTION VI: Roles and Responsibilities
A. Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is responsible for guiding the efforts of the Roundtable overall and coordinating with the Network Coordinator. This includes oversight of the work performed by the Network Coordinator and monitoring expenditures consistent with the approved budget. The Steering Committee is composed of eight (8) members and is led by two Co-chairs. The Steering Committee strives to maintain geographical and demographic diversity among its members. Steering Committee members should proportionately represent northern, central and southern California to the extent possible.
Because the world of water and political expediency sometimes converge, the Steering Committee is authorized by the Roundtable members to respond to immediate requests from DWR and other State agencies, and write position papers on behalf of the Roundtable, using the Roundtable of Regions branding to signal broad agreement about the position being taken. Every effort will be made, when time allows, to send draft responses, correspondence and position papers to Roundtable members for review and comment before submission. When deadlines preclude advance notice, the Steering Committee will send all correspondence to Roundtable members as soon as possible. All responses will consider all IRWM Regions and not represent just one IRWM Region, Funding Area or geographic area.
Steering Committee membership is recommended by the Steering Committee and approved by the full Roundtable. Steering Committee members must represent a specific IRWM Region and be employed by their IRWM, water agency, public agency, non-profit or other organization not affiliated with for-profit consultants contracted to work with IRWM Regions.
Steering Committee members serve two-year terms commencing July 1st and ending 24 months later on June 30th. Membership may be renewed semi-annually with the approval of the Roundtable. To maintain continuity, the terms are staggered so no more than 50% of the Steering Committee are new members each year. The Steering Committee meets monthly, or more if needed, via conference call.
B. General Membership
The full membership of the Roundtable typically meets quarterly by conference call. In addition, Roundtable members are polled through surveys to identify needs and obtain program input. Roundtable Summits are held periodically - as often as once a year - to provide an opportunity to meet face-to-face and discuss issues facing IRWM regions.
C. Ad Hoc Committees
Occasionally the Steering Committee may convene ad hoc committees to address specific issues. The general membership will be advised of any committees and invited to join.
D. Network Coordinator
The Network Coordinator is responsible for facilitating the Roundtable. While the work of the Roundtable remains primarily the responsibility of the membership, the Coordinator assumes the responsibility for coordinating internal and external communication, and planning events convened or co-convened by the Roundtable. The Coordinator’s role is divided into 2 categories:
Maintain membership lists
Create and maintain a file-sharing portal
Schedule conference calls and meetings
Assist with preparation of agendas and identify desired outcomes for each meeting.
Prepare a meeting summary after each meeting.
Encourage member participation in the Roundtable.
At the direction of the Steering Committee, schedule meetings with DWR and designated Roundtable members.
Compile comments and send them to DWR on various topics identified by the Roundtable.
Coordinate the preparation of White Papers.
Coordinate with other organizations (i.e., ACWA, CASQA, Water Bond Coalition, GRA, Floodplain Management Assn., etc.) at the direction of the Roundtable.
Promote IRWM Principles.
Coordinate communication of the “Story of IRWM” to build support.
Maintain the website to inform and engage.
Assist in planning annual Summit.
Assist with the development of surveys to gather information from members about a variety of issues. Distribute survey, analyze data, and report results to the Roundtable.
E. Network Coordinator Cost Share Agencies
The cost of the Network Coordinator is shared voluntarily by Roundtable participating agencies. Participating agencies have signed a letter of agreement with the Contract Administrator.
F. Contract Administrator
The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) serves as the contract administrator for the Network Coordinator and the Cost Share Agencies. SAWPA will execute the contract, monitor the budget, and ensure the Network Coordinator’s contract does not exceed the total contributions by the Cost Share agencies. SAWPA provides this service as an in-kind donation.
SECTION VII: Ground Rules
The Roundtable will use the following standing ground rules to establish a productive protocol for meetings and may modify them as appropriate.
Roundtable members agree to:
Listen and openly discuss issues with others who hold diverse views.
View disagreements as problems to be solved rather than battles to be won.
Refrain from ascribing motives or intentions to other participants.
Respect the integrity and values of other participants.
During the meetings, all members agree to:
Use conversational courtesy.
Keep mobile phones silent during in-person meetings; mute phones when not speaking during conference calls.
Appreciate humor but not engage in humor at the expense of others.
SECTION VIII: Decision Making
Periodically participants in the Roundtable collaborate to take a position on an issue or provide a letter to the state expressing concerns or suggestions, using the Roundtable of Regions branding to signal broad agreement about the position. While this is typically done through a consensus process, it may be necessary to take a formal vote on an issue in the future. In case the need arises, the following formal decision-making process will be employed:
Working toward consensus is a fundamental principle. Consensus means that all members either fully support or can live with the decisions made by the group and believe that their IRWM Region agencies and organizations can as well. In reaching consensus, it is useful to refer to the Gradients of Agreement. This scale makes it easier for participants to be candid. Using it, members can register less-than-wholehearted support without fearing that their statement will be interpreted as a veto.
When differences of opinion exist after extensive discussion, a straw poll will be taken using the Gradients of Agreement. Each IRWM Region will have one vote. IRWM regions are asked to identify a primary representative. In the event that voting is required to reach a decision, the primary representative is designated to cast a vote for their region.
Unless a member votes to reject (level 6), the proposal will move forward. In the event a member cannot support the proposal and votes to reject, the Roundtable will further discuss the proposal until a resolution can be reached in a timely manner. If consensus is not reached after a second round of discussion, a vote will be taken on the proposal. A vote of 75% or more of all regions present will move the issue forward.
SECTION IX: Communication
Media: We request that a member speak only for their IRWM Region when approached by the news media or other external parties about the Roundtable. Members should be careful to express only their own views and not those of other members of the Roundtable. The temptation to discuss someone else’s statement or position should be avoided.
Roundtable Members: All Roundtable members will be sent meeting invitations, agendas, meeting summaries and any other communications. We ask that members keep colleagues from their IRWM Region informed about the process as appropriate and to bring their region’s views into the discussion.
Meeting Summaries: Meeting summaries will be provided following each Roundtable or Committee meeting.
SECTION X: Adoption and Amendments to this Charter
This Charter was approved by the Roundtable of Regions membership on May 29, 2019. Amendments to the Charter will be proposed by the Steering Committee and formally adopted by the Roundtable. The Roundtable may use its decision-making procedure, identified in Section VIII above, to approve amendments to this Charter.