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Russian River Pilot for Watershed Sustainability, Department of Water Resources

Catalyst has served as the project coordinator and lead planner for the Russian River Pilot for Watershed Sustainability. This effort grew out of Catalyst’s work with the California Economic Summit and the State of California’s “Sustainability Outlook,” a new element of the California Water Plan, which is the state’s strategic plan for sustainably managing and developing water resources for current and future generations. 

Through this pilot project, Catalyst worked with the Department of Water Resources’ California Water Plan team and stakeholders within the Russian River watershed to identify and document how the state’s “Sustainability Outlook” can be integrated with regional efforts to improve sustainability of water and natural resources within the Russian River watershed.

During Phase 1, Catalyst conducted research and analysis, convened regional stakeholders, and documented watershed conditions, historical and current trends, regulatory alignment issues, and funding and financing approaches. During Phase 2, Catalyst synthesized approaches to watershed assessment and applied to the analysis the State’s societal values, outcomes and indicators for sustainable water management, and identified policy options for regulatory alignment and funding and finance considerations. 

Through this work, Catalyst helped to identify the assets within the watershed and the diverse interests who rely on those assets, and laid the groundwork for developing a watershed-scale management approach that potentially could be replicated elsewhere.