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The California Water Plan uses multiple future scenarios and alternative response packages as an analytical approach to evaluating future water management conditions. The scenarios are not meant to be forecasts of the future, but represent alternatively plausible conditions for the future. Response packages to these scenarios are comprised of different mixes of Resource Management Strategies.

Scenarios are shaped by factors considered to be beyond the control of water managers. Each scenario has alternative values for some factors such as population growth and land use. Water Plan scenarios are used to explore questions about the future; for example, what will the year 2050 be like if California's population continues to grow at the rate it has over the past several years, and what if the rate increases over the next 10, 20, or more years? How will shifting land use influence future water demands for agriculture or municipalities?

For a complete overview and explanation of the multiple future scenarios and alternative response packages used for California Water Plan Update 2013, see Managing an Uncertain Future in Volume 1.

Analytical Tools

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) uses a number of tools to analyze ongoing and future operations. The following table lists the tools that the Water Plan uses.

Analytical Tools Available for the Water Plan

Analytical Tools Available for the Water Plan (Click to Expand)

The following tools are available for use.

Tool Category Author
CALSIM Water Supply DWR
CALVIN Economic Optimization of Water Allocation UC Davis
CAWU Evapotranspiration of Applied Water DWR
CU Crop Consumptive Use DWR
CUP Crop Consumptive Use DWR
DSM2 Hydrodynamics and Water Quality DWR
IMPLAN Economics and Impact Analysis for Planning MIG, Inc.
IWFM Integrated Surface Water and Groundwater Hydrology DWR
IWRMAIN Urban Water Use CDM
LAWS Field-level Water Budget, Regional Water Supply Allocation USBR
LCPSIM Economic Optimization of Water Management Options DWR
Probabilistic Climate Projections for California California Climate Change CEC
SIMETAW Weather Generator and Evapotranspiration of Applied Water DWR
SWAP Farm Production Economics Modeling UC Davis/DWR
UPLAN Urban Land Use DWR
WEAP Water Resources Planning Stockholm Environmental Institute

California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum

DWR partners with the California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum (CWEMF) for technical outreach to improve California’s analytical capabilities in support of water management decisions and investments. Improving these analytical capabilities will require significant participation by local, state and federal agencies, organizations and governments.

CWEMF, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes excellence and consensus in water and environmental modeling, provides a venue in which DWR can engage stakeholders to improve analytical tools and share data. For more information about CWEMF, visit their website at www.cwemf.org.

Contact Information

For more information about Scenarios or Analytical Tools, please contact us at cwpcom@water.ca.gov.