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 Update 2018  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.
  • 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


Contact Us

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

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Upcoming Meetings

Water Plan eNews

Read this week's eNews,  October 10, 2018

This week’s headlines include:

  • Countdown is on for next week’s Update 2018 plenary meeting, still time to register
  • Draft stormwater target report open for public comment throughout October
  • Workshops will provide information on grants to promote forest health
  • Up to $49 million in funding for ecosystem project available under Propositions 1 and 68
  • CNRA releases draft guidelines for cultural and community grants program
  • Contest offers cash prizes for new insights on Bay Area water quality data

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

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