Water Plan Updates

The California Water Plan Update 2018 (Update 2018) is currently under development. Update 2018 will focus on sustainable outcomes requiring a long-term, consistent, and self-correcting planning and policy-making framework. The public review draft (PRD) of Update 2018 will be released soon.

You can contribute to updates.

  • Visit Participation to learn about the various ways to take part.
  • Read public comments.
  • Submit your own comments.

Update 2018 advocates for developing a common understanding of what it means to manage and measure water resources for sustainability. The update sets goals and objectives, and recommends near-term actions, to overcome the challenges summarized in the document and to manage water resources for sustainability. Implementing the needed actions will require water resource planners, managers, and decision-makers to work together, track effectiveness, learn from what works, and adapt ineffective practices. 

To accomplish and demonstrate the effectiveness of water management actions, their intended outcomes must be understood and aligned with the interests and values of Californians. Update 2018 organizes the intended outcomes that have been expressed by the water community around four broad categories of public benefits, or “societal values.”

Water Plan Societal Values
  • Public Health and Safety — All Californians are protected from health and safety threats and emergencies.
  • Healthy Economy —  A strong, diverse economy provides satisfying ways of life and well-being, as well as opportunities for economic prosperity, for all Californians.
  • Ecosystem Vitality —  Ecological functions and processes that sustain ecosystems and fish and wildlife habitat are maintained and improved.
  • Opportunities for Enriching Experiences — All Californians have opportunities for cultural, spiritual, recreational, and aesthetic experiences.




Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
The report presents key assumptions and estimates, data and data sources, and companion plans which will be considered for the preparation of Update 2018.

Update 2013, released on October 2014, is designed to work in tandem, and help implement, the Governor’s Water Action Plan (PDF). At more than 3,500 pages, Update 2013 covers a variety of information, from detailed descriptions of current and potential regional and statewide water conditions, to a “Roadmap for Action” intended to achieve desired benefits and outcomes.

Update 2013 recognizes and reflects 5 things every Californian should know:

  1. Water is the essence of life for California.
  2.  California’s complex water system is in crisis.
  3.  A diverse portfolio approach is required.
  4.  Solutions require integration, alignment, and investment.
  5. We all have a role to play in securing our future.

The plan is organized in 5 volumes plus a Highlights booklet. Volume 4 and 5 can be found on the Reference Materials and Technical Documentation pages. 

Update 2013 Highlights ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
The Update 2013 Highlights booklet is a short "executive summary" of the information contained the Water Plan volumes. You will find pointers to where more detailed discussion and information can be found in specific volumes and chapters. The Update 2013 Placement describes the key Update 2013 messages, the importance of integrated water management (IWM), the nexus between Update 2013 and the Governor's Water Action Plan, and a matrix linking the Action Plan's ten priorities to content in Update 2013.
Update 2013 Volume 1 - The Strategic Plan ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
Containing the first ever framework for financing the the California Water Plan and a "Roadmap for Action," Volume 1 provides a comprehensive picture of current water, flood, and environmental conditions in California.
Update 2013 Volume 3 - Resource Management Strategies ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
The integrated water management (IWM) toolbox, Volume 3 provides 30 plus strategies to: reduce water demand, increase, water supply, improve water quality, practice resource stewardship, improve flood management, and recognize people's relationship to water.

Update 2009 follows the Update 2005 roadmap of strategies for sustainable water use but with an increased sense of urgency. Update 2009 reinforces the need to follow the principles of integrated water management – statewide and regionally – and to use water efficiently, improve water quality and reliability, and integrate environmental stewardship into every aspect of how we manage our water.

The plan is organized in 5 volumes plus a Highlights booklet.

Update 2009 Highlights ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
The Update 2009 Highlights booklet is a short "executive summary" of the information contained the Water Plan volumes. You will find pointers to where more detailed discussion and information can be found in specific volumes and chapters.
Update 2009 Volume 1 - The Strategic Plan ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
Volume 1 presents the strategic plan elements of Update 2009 - Vision, Mission, 7 Goals, 10 Guiding Principles, 13 Objectives, 115+ Related Actions, and 9 Cross-Cutting Recommendations. It describes current water conditions, challenges, and activities; future uncertainties and climate change impacts; three scenarios for 2050; and a roadmap for improving data and analytical tools needed for integrated water management and sustainability. It incorporates the provisions of the 2009 comprehensive water package legislation, as well as the companion plans of 21 State agencies into the Update 2009 Strategies and Implementation Plan.
Update 2009 Volume 2 - Resource Management Strategies ( PDF) | (Publish Date:
Volume 2 describes 27+ resource management strategies that can help meet various Water Plan objectives. Regional managers can mix and match strategies into response packages, crafting them to provide multiple water and resource benefits, diversify their water portfolio, and become more regionally self-sufficient.
Update 2009 Volume 3 - Regional Reports ( ZIP) | (Publish Date:
Volume 3 is a set of 12 regional reports. Each regional booklet includes a water balance summary - water use and water supply - for years 1998 through 2005 and scenario results that project the region's water needs through year 2050 with the use of three alternative future scenarios and 12 climate change scenarios.

California Water Plan Update 2005 is a roadmap for meeting the state’s water demands today and into the future. It identifies pressing issues and includes a strategic plan with goals, policy recommendations, and actions to ensure sustainable water uses and reliable water supplies in the face of uncertainty and change. The plan also outlines an array of management strategies and collaborative approaches to increase supply, use water efficiently, protect water quality, and restore the environment.

The plan is organized in five volumes plus a Highlights booklet.

Update 2005 Volume 1 - Strategic Plan (Document Languagle goes here PDF) | (Publish Date: Version: Document Identifier goes here
Volume 1 presents the strategic plan elements of Update 2005. It describes current water conditions, challenges, and activities; future uncertainties and climate change impacts; three scenarios for 2030; and it presents "A Framework for Action" and for the first time an Implementation Plan that includes proposals for carrying the water plan's recommendations.
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Update 2005 Volume 2 - Resource Management Strategies (Document Languagle goes here PDF) | (Publish Date: Version: Document Identifier goes here
Volume includes narratives for 25 resource management strategies (presented alphabetically). As used in this water plan, a resource management strategy is a project, program, or policy that helps California’s local agencies and governments manage their water and related resources. Strategies can be combined in various ways to meet the water management objectives and values of different regions and to achieve benefits for many natural resources.
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Update 2005 Volume 3 - Regional Reports (Document Languagle goes here PDF) | (Publish Date: Version: Document Identifier goes here
Volume 3 includes regional reports for the state’s 10 hydrologic regions, the Delta, and a Mountain Counties overlay area, as well as a state summary. Each report includes a discussion of the region: key challenges; ongoing programs; and water portfolio data and information on water supplies and uses for water years 1998, 2000, and 2001.
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Update 2005 Volume 4 - Reference Guide (Document Languagle goes here PDF) | (Publish Date: Version: Document Identifier goes here
Volume 4 includes general reference information on California water resources and facilities from prior water plan updates and articles prepared for, or related to, this water plan that support material in volumes 1, 2, or 3.
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