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Place-Based Integrated Water Resources Planning

A photo of the Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS) PublicationOregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS) recommends that the Department help places undertake a collaborative, integrated approach to water planning. Place-based integrated water resources planning (also known as place-based water planning) is a voluntary, locally initiated and led effort, in which a balanced representation of water interests work in partnership with the state to understand and meet their instream and out-of-stream water supply needs. In 2015 the Department developed Guidelines that provide a framework for planning. The Department also provides financial, technical, and planning assistance to the four communities testing the Guidelines.

Updates and Announcements

The Department provides updates every 6 months to track programmatic and place-based accomplishments:A photo of Place-Based Planning Group Update handout  

More Information

​Place-based integrated water resources planning is rooted in the idea that place matters, that water management activities should be coordinated, and that planning can help the people of Oregon collectively envision and chart a path towards a better water future.

Place-Based: Orients knowledge, decisions, and actions around the specific context of a place in a way that recognizes and strengthens the connection between people and place and empowers people to work together to achieve a shared vision of that place.

Integrated Water Resources: An approach that “promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment.” Global Water Partnership

Planning: A process used to identify shared goals and objectives and then 1) formulate strategies, 2) align people, information, ideas, and resources, and 3) coordinate near-term and long-term actions to achieve the goals and objectives.

​ The place-based water planning process follows a set of key planning principles and five planning steps outlined in the 2015 DRAFT Place-Based Planning Guidelines​​


Planning Principles

  • Locally-initiated and led collaborative effort
  • Voluntary, non-regulatory process 
  • Includes a balanced representation of water interests
  • Conducted in partnership with the state 
  • Addresses instream and out-of-stream needs
  • Looks at water quantity, quality and ecosystem needs in an integrated approach
  • Creates an open and transparent process that fosters public participation
  • Builds on and integrates existing studies and plans 
  • Does not infringe on existing water rights
  • Adheres to IWRS principles and state laws

Planning Steps

  1. Build a collaborative and inclusive process
  2. Gather information to understand water resources and identify gaps in knowledge
  3. Examine current and future water needs for people, the economy, and the environment
  4. Identify and prioritize strategic, integrated solutions to meet water needs
  5. Develop and implement a place-based integrated water resources plan

The following four areas have been awarded grant funding and are undertaking a place-based, integrated approach to water planning in partnership with the State consistent with the 2015 DRAFT Place-Based Planning Guidelines. This new program is currently in a pilot phase. The planning approach and Guidelines will be evaluated and modified based on what is learned from the planning efforts in these four places.

​The Department is currently assembling a toolbox with resources to assist all communities interested in understanding their water resources and planning for their water future. The toolbox is under development.​

The Department is providing more than $700,000 in grants to support the current place-based water planning efforts. The Department does not have funding or staff capacity to support additional places at this time. For more information visit the Departments Planning webpage

For more information about the Department’s other funding opportunities, visit the Water Resources Development Program webpage​.


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