California Water Plan

Carson River

The Carson River, named for Kit Carson, begins in the Sierra Nevada and flows through the Carson River Basin until it ends at the Carson Sink. DWR/2011

The California Water Plan is the State's strategic plan for sustainably managing and developing water resources for current and future generations. Required by Water Code Section 10005(a), it presents the status and trends of California’s water-dependent natural resources; water supplies; and agricultural, urban, and environmental water demands for a range of plausible future scenarios.

 The plan:

  • Is updated every 5 years
  • Provides a way for various groups to collaborate on findings and recommendations and make informed decisions regarding California’s water future
    • Elected officials
    • Government agencies
    • Tribes
    • Water and resource managers
    • Businesses
    • Academia
    • Stakeholders
    • General public
  • Can't mandate actions or authorize spending for specific actions
  • Doesn't make project- or site-specific recommendations nor include environmental review or documentation as would be required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Requires policy- and law-makers to take definitive steps to authorize the specific actions proposed in the plan and appropriate funding needed for their implementation

Water Plan Update 2018

We're currently working on Water Plan Updates  which, along with subsequent updates, will focus on sustainable outcomes requiring a long-term, consistent, and self-correcting planning and policy-making framework. These updates will provide a State venue for monitoring, evaluating, and recommending actions, and adapting to keep California on a path of sustainability.

The goal for each plan update is to:

You can contribute to updates.

  • Visit our Participation page to learn about the various ways to take part.
  • View our Calendar find information on upcoming meetings.
  • Subscribe to California Water Plan eNews, our weekly electronic newsletter, for the latest information on the Water Plan.
  • Read public comments.
  • Submit your own comments.

Related Pages

Water Plan eNews

Read this week's eNews,  June 13, 2018

This week’s headlines include:

  • California Water Boards holding annual science symposium next week
  • Questions about the Delta? This beginner’s guide has many answers
  • Adaptation forum will take a close look at California action on climate change
  • Webinar to provide insight on San Diego county wildfire damage and recovery
  • Details of Northwest Forest Plan to be discussed at forest service symposium
  • Urban sustainability solutions on the agenda for Meeting of the Minds summit
  • Water sustainability, jobs, and housing on agenda for economic summit

To receive future editions, subscribe to the California Water Plan eNews (published every Wednesday).


To view previous editions of eNews, visit the document library.

eNews Archive

How To Contact Us

Find general contact information in the directory, or select the button below to email Planning branch.

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