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

Newsletters & Subscriptions

Read this week's eNews, April 18, 2018

This week’s headlines include:

  • DWR report estimates water that is available to replenish groundwater basins
  • CWC schedules meetings with Water Storage Investment Program applicants
  • UCLA delivers report on the future of the Sierra under climate change
  • Agricultural program and earthquake scenario on growth council agenda
  • New planning partnership offers information to agencies across California
  • Guide provides water efficiency ideas for commercial kitchens
  • DWR workshop will demonstrate new approach to land area measurement

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


How To Contact Us

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

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