Organized in the early 1950s as the initial State Water Plan was being prepared, the MCWRA worked with the Department of Water Resources to identify water needs and plans for water development in the Mountain County area.
Since the formation of the Association, the state’s water landscape and policies have changed tremendously. The Area of Origin statutes as well as Pre-1914 water rights are being constantly called into question as they relate to efficient water use, allocation and beneficial uses. In 1979 the Association was reorganized to represent the Counties of Origin in gaining water rights protection and development.
In 2005, the California Department of Water Resources recognized and established the Mountain Counties as an “Area of Interest” along with the “Delta” in the California Water Plan Update; a blueprint for sustainability.
The recent laws in 2009 set the stage for multiple policy and operational change implications for this region, which if not carefully monitored and strategically influenced, will significantly erode the water rights protections and local water use/allocation priorities currently enjoyed by mountain counties agencies. In response to the looming legislative and regulatory actions, the Board of Directors re-focused the Association, established Water Policy Principles, and took action to provide a higher level of education to policymakers and advocacy for our members to help protect the water resources in the Sierra Nevada watershed with strong emphasis on outreach, education and legislative influence to benefit the Sierra Nevada watershed.
Throughout this time the MCWRA has pledged its continual willingness to work with all agencies of the State to achieve water dependability throughout California.