Water Planning

DWR is responsible for helping to manage water resources effectively. Diverse and growing demands for water supply reliability, declining ecosystem, urbanization, changing climate, declining state and federal resources, and aging infrastructure make planning both challenging and vitally important to the future of water in California.


DWR provides a collaborative planning framework for elected officials, agencies, tribes, water resource managers, businesses, academia, stakeholders, and the public to develop findings and recommendations and make informed decisions for California's water future. The Plan, updated every five years, 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.

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The Land and Water Use Program collects land use data and developing water use estimates required for statewide water planning.

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The state and federal governments have funded programs to consider new surface storage projects that would support water supply reliability, water quality, and ecosystem restoration. These new projects are being designed to be adaptive and robust, and would support aquatic and riparian ecosystem restoration focused on the Delta and its tributaries, improved drinking and habitat water quality, and the water supply needs associated with California's growing population and diverse economy.

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System reoperation looks at changing existing operation and management procedures for existing reservoirs and conveyance facilities to increase water related benefits from these facilities or to adapt to changing climate and hydrologic conditions. In response to legislation, DWR is conducting feasibility studies to identify potential options for reoperation of the state's flood protection and water supply systems that will optimize the use of existing facilities and groundwater storage capacity.

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