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With a growing recognition that California’s water systems are over allocated, decision-makers, water managers, and planners are becoming increasingly aware of the need to sustainable manage water and respond to changing availability and constraints on water.

The California Water Sustainability Indicators Framework (CWSIF), developed as part of California Water Plan Update 2013 (Update 2013), brings together water sustainability indicators that will provide information regarding water system conditions and their relationships to ecosystems, social systems, and economic systems. The evaluation of the sustainability indicators reveals how our actions or inaction can degrade or improve conditions that lead to water sustainability. To assess the usefulness of the CWSIF for measuring water sustainability, it was tested at the state and regional scales.

An overview of Sustainability and CWSIF is presented in Volume 1 Ch. 5 Managing an Uncertain Future. The findings for both the state and regional scale pilot studies reports are available in Volume 4, Reference Guide under Sustainability section and are available below.

The California Water Sustainability Indicators Framework

The CWSIF was designed to be used in conjuction with other components of the California Water Plan: Progress Reports, Regional Reports, Resource Management Strategies, Scenario Planning, and other components.

Water Footprint

The water footprint is the sum of the water used directly or indirectly to produce goods and services consumed by humanity. Agricultural production accounts for most of global water use, but drinking, manufacturing, cooking, recreation, washing, cleaning, landscaping, cooling, and processing all contribute to water use. In addition to these direct water uses, indirect uses such as water impacted by pollutants, chemical or temperature, contribute to the water footprint. By measuring and understanding the many ways that people use water, whether it is through pipes or from food production, we can reduce the risks and uncertainties associated with certain ways of using water in production and improve our water sustainability.

Visit the our Water Footprint page for more infromation and links to water footprint calculator and other resources.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, you can contact us at cwpcom@water.ca.gov.