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Water Plan GIS Data

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) subdivides the state into specific geographical study areas for planning purposes. The largest study areas are the ten hydrologic regions, corresponding to the state's major drainage basins. The next level of delineation is the planning area (PA), which are composed of multiple detailed analysis units (DAU). The DAUs are often split by county, so the smallest study area used by the Department is the DAU/county. Many planning studies begin at the DAU or PA level, and the results are aggregated into hydrologic regions for presentation. The level of detail of the boundaries can be seen below:

State > Hydrologic Region (HR) > Planning Area (PA) > Detailed Analysis Unit (DAU) >
Detailed Analysis Unit by County (DAU by Co.)

The California Water Plan also provides data and analysis for Mountain Counties (overlay area) and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (overlay area), two areas of special concern.

California Water Plan Maps

The following .pdf contains an set of map layers from the Water Plan including the following information:

  • Hydrologic Regions
  • Mountain counties (overlay area)
  • Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (overlay area)
  • Suisun Marsh
  • Planning areas
  • Detailed analysis units
  • Counties
  • Cities
  • DWR regional office boundaries
  • Major roads
  • Major water conveyance
  • Water features
  • Watersheds
  • IRWM Planning regions
  • California Indian Tribal Homelands and Trust Lands
  • Groundwater basin/subbasin (B-118)
  • Groundwater monitoring wells
  • Groundwater Management Plans
  • Hydrogeologically vulnerable areas
  • Instream flow requirement locations
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers

  • You will need to download the .pdf file into your computer, and open it in Adobe Reader. On the left menu, select the layers tab, where you will be able to turn on the different layers contained in the .pdf.
  • California Layers Map(s)

GIS Information and Data

The following zip file only contains some of the layers contained in the .pdf map mentioned above. Please note that some of the data used to prepare some of the maps in the Water Plan were not prepared in a format that is sharable electronically, other than the information published in the Water Plan.


Water Management Planning Tool

DWR has developed a web-based application to assist local agencies in water management planning efforts. The Water Management Planning Tool is an interactive map application that allows users to overlay numerous GIS layers onto a map of California, and allows for those GIS layers to be toggled on and off while varying each layer's transparency. Each planning layer includes a brief description and a location or source where the user can find additional information regarding that layer. The Water Management Planning Tool is intended to assist local agencies with their responsibilities related to the California Water Plan, Integrated Regional Water Management, and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and as an informational tool for all interested parties. Please read the disclaimer on the tool's webpage.

** Click here to open the Water Management Planning Tool **


Contact Information

For more information or questions about California Water Plan maps or GIS data, you can contact us at cwpcom@water.ca.gov. If you have questions about the Water Management Planning Tool, please contact Paul Shipman at paul.shipman@water.ca.gov.