The Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority is a public agency engaged in the stewardship of regional water and forest resources. The 550-square-mile Upper Mokelumne River watershed is located within Alpine, Amador, and Calaveras counties. The topography of the watershed is rugged with elevations ranging from 600 to 10,400 feet. The watershed is a source of drinking water for Amador, Calaveras and San Joaquin County communities and for about 1.4 million East Bay residents.
A vast majority of undeveloped lands within the watershed are managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. City and county governments regulate development within the region with many public services provided by local water agencies and other special districts. As a regional public agency, UMRWA's role is to perform water and forest resource planning, secure grant funding, facilitate forest fuels reduction and restoration projects, and leverage federal and state investments for widespread regional benefit.
UMRWA's goals are fulfilled in a variety of ways. Serving as the regional water management group for the Mokelumne-Amador-Calaveras (MAC) Region, UMRWA has developed the MAC Plan, a state approved integrated regional water management plan, and secured more than $11 million for infrastructure projects that benefit local communities.
Under a 2016 Master Stewardship Agreement with the US Forest Service UMRWA serves as lead partner for forest project planning and contracting fuel reduction and restoration projects within the watershed. In that role the Authority has secured more than $12 million in funding from Sierra Nevada Conservancy, USFS, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, CalFire and the Wildlife Conservation Board and has facilitated forest fuels and restoration treatments on 4,225 acres of National Forest lands. The Authority also supports the Youth Watershed Stewardship Program, a public education program lead by Stewardship through Education, a local organization of teachers.
UMRWA is a Joint Powers Authority established in the year 2000 and comprised of six water agencies (Amador Water Agency, Calaveras County Water District, Calaveras Public Utility District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Jackson Valley Irrigation District and Alpine County Water Agency) and the counties of Amador, Calaveras and Alpine. The Authority is governed by an eight-member Board of Directors. Quarterly governing Board public meetings are typically held at Pardee Center which is located about 4 miles north of Valley Springs.