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

The public review draft (PRD) of Update 2018 has been released. A 30-day comment period begins on December 21, 2018 and ends on January 21, 2019. Comments received on this draft will be used to inform the final Update 2018 release. Additional information is provided in the Reviewer's Guide, including ways to provide comments.

A two-hour webinar is scheduled for January 8, 2019. This will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions and provide comments on the draft.


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.
  • 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.

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For any questions or comments about the Water Plan, please contact us. 

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News and Updates

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Water Plan eNews

Read this week's eNews,  June 05, 2019.

This week’s headlines include:

  • Public input sought for update to DWR’s Bulletin 74: California Well Standards
  • Commission to discuss cost and recovery from California’s catastrophic wildfires
  • Webinar series provides information on the State’s Adaptation Clearinghouse
  • Taking climate change into account for mountain meadow restoration
  • Law Seminars International to host SGMA conference next month in Sacramento
  • August dates chosen for California’s fourth annual Water Data 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.

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