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California Water Plan Update 2018

The California Water Plan Update 2018 (Update 2018) is currently in development. The Policy Advisory Committee (Policy AC) and Tribal Advisory Committee (Tribal AC) meetings are open to the public. You can see and review materials and agendas for upcoming and previous meetings by visiting our Meeting Materials page. Upcoming meetings will be announced on eNews and posted on our Calendar.

These meetings and other opportunities to get involved will be announced in the California Water Plan eNews. You can subscribe to eNews here.

Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report and Update 2018 Release Schedule

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report (Draft A&E Report) for Update 2018. The report presents key assumptions and estimates, data and data sources, and companion plans which will be considered for the preparation of Update 2018.

DWR is interested in receiving comments about the information presented in the Draft A&E Report for Update 2018. We also welcome suggestions about improving the usefulness of the report. Please direct your suggestions to DWR at cwpcom@water.ca.gov or via fax at (916) 651-9259. You can also mail your comments to Strategic Water Planning Branch, PO Box 942836, Sacramento CA, 94236-0001.

Comments received by June 6, 2017, will be closely considered when DWR adopts the final assumptions and estimates for Update 2018.

Milestone Schedule*
First Plenary Meeting October 25, 2016
Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report Released April 5, 2017
Comment Period for Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report April 5–June 6, 2017
Second Plenary Meeting September 27, 2017
Update 2018 Public Review Draft Released February 2018
Comment Period for Update 2018 Public Review Draft February–April 2018
Third Plenary Meeting October 2018
Final Update 2018 Released December 2018

*Dates are subject to change.

Envisioning California Water Sustainability

The Governor's Water Action Plan calls attention to the need to respond to changing conditions and established the three goals of “more reliable water supplies, the restoration of important species and habitat, and a more resilient, sustainably managed water resources system (water supply, water quality, flood protection, and environment) that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.”

Sustainability is not a destination, but rather a direction that must constantly be monitored, evaluated, acted upon, and adjusted. While it is not possible to achieve or demonstrate sustainability at a point in time, trends and patterns observed over time can demonstrate movement toward or away from sustainability. Moving California towards more sustainable outcomes requires a long-term, consistent, and self-correcting planning and policy-making framework. Update 2018 and subsequent updates will provide a State venue for monitoring, evaluating, recommending actions, and adapting to keep California on a path of sustainability.

The California Water Sustainability Brochure presents the Water Plan's vision of sustainability. It describes the four societal values: (1) public health and safety, (2) a healthy economy, (3) ecosystem vitality, and (4) opportunities for enriching experiences. And defines sustainability as not an end point, but as an ongoing, resilient, and dynamic balance among four societal values. This understanding of sustainability will help guide the efforts necessary for effective integrated water management (IWM) and integrated regional water management (IRWM).

The brochure was first presented in the first of the annual plenary meetings for California Water Plan Update 2018. The Plenary was held on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, in Sacramento. The agenda, meeting summary, and other meeting materials have been posted on the Meeting Materials page


Managing Water — Working Together to Shape Our Future

The water challenges facing our communities, watersheds, and economies compelled the State of California to embark on a comprehensive, multi-agency, and practical approach to water resources management. The process, outlined in the Governor’s Water Action Plan, encourages implementation of integrated, multi-benefit programs and projects.

Since 2014, the action plan has focused State water leaders on common goals and actions, and it has leveraged general obligation bond revenues with existing agency budgets and other funding sources. But, full implementation of the plan, and related actions to improve water sustainability, will require investments above the current baseline budgets of State, federal, tribal, and local governments. Multiple, and more stable, funding sources will be needed to improve flood protection, provide reliable and clean water supplies, restore and enhance ecosystems, and provide for enriching experiences – that is, to achieve sustainable water management. Details are available in DWR’s partnership paper, Managing California Water Through Federal, State, and Local Cooperation.

Ever-greening California Water Plan for Update 2018

To be relevant, California Water Plan Update 2018 needs to report on Water Action Plan implementation and its related State initiatives such as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, State drought response, Proposition 1 Water Bond, future IRWM strategies, and flood investment strategy. In addition to being State government’s long-term strategic water plan, Update 2018 needs to – for the first time – identify specific outcomes and metrics to track performance, prioritize near-term State actions and investments, recommend financing methods having more stable revenues, and inform water deliberations and decisions as they unfold.


Contact Information

This page will be updated with new information and updates related to Update 2018 when they become available. For more information about Update 2018, contact the Water Plan Team at cwpcom@water.ca.gov.