Project Clean Water was initiated in July 2000 to provide a broad and inclusive forum for exploring water quality issues of regional significance. Much of the focus during our first two years was on establishing a visible forum to discuss issues of shared concern, to find consensus solutions to priority problems, and to characterize baseline conditions in the region’s watersheds. This work was primarily carried out by four Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) and numerous, ad hoc Technical Workgroups. More than 600 people representing various interests throughout the San Diego region have participated in Project Clean Water activities. A focal point of stakeholder participation has been the Annual Clean Water Summits, held in June of 2002, 2003 and 2004. These Summits have provided an important opportunity to explore the issue of the day and validate and fine-tune the priorities and directions of Project Clean Water working bodies.
In early 2004, in response to input provided by participants, organizational changes were put into place to streamline the overall Project Clean Water process and to focus more closely on the issues of greatest interest to stakeholders. In addition to reducing TAC meeting frequencies to quarterly, two TACs were consolidated to more closely focus on watershed protection issues. The Watershed Protection TAC became a forum for sharing current watershed management activities throughout the County. The TAC quickly focused it's attention on grant funding opportunities that were presented by the advent of Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, Chapter 8, which allocated $380 million in competitive grants for projects that are part of an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan. Through discussion that occured at the TAC, the County of San Diego, the San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego Water Department agreed to form a Regional Water Management Group (RWMG) which was needed to fund and develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for the San Diego Region. The Watershed Protection TAC became the first stakeholder group supporting the development of this Plan.