Water Resource Management Strategies

Sailfin mollies and juvenile tilapia swim in a drainage ditch that flows into the Salton Sea in Imperial County, California. ©DWR/2017

The California Water Plan provides a broad set of resource management strategies (RMSs) that can help local agencies and governments manage their water and related resources. The RMSs can be a technique, program, or policy that can be used to meet water-related management needs of a region and the state as a whole. The 30-plus RMSs provide a comprehensive suite of tools that can be used to achieve a variety of intended outcomes by utilizing a diverse mix of strategies.

Resource Management Strategies

The RMSs can be considered as tools in a toolkit. Just as the mix of tools in any given kit depend on the job to be accomplished, the combination of strategies will vary from region to region, depending on climate, projected growth, existing water system, environmental and social conditions, and regional goals. At the local level, it's important the proposed strategies complement the operation of existing water systems. Some strategies may have little value in certain regions. Other strategies may have little value in particular conditions. For example, precipitation enhancement may not be effective during drought.


While most of the RMSs have multiple potential benefits, each area of California needs to select the right mix of strategies to achieve their intended outcomes. Actual RMS benefits depend on how the strategies are implemented. It's important to note that the water supply benefits of the RMSs are not additive. Although presented individually, the RMSs are alternatives that can complement each other or compete for limited system capacity, funding, water supplies, or other components necessary for implementation. Assumptions, methods, data, and local conditions vary per strategy. For this reason, the estimated benefits and costs should not be used to prioritize actions, policies, or proportion of State investment.

Management Objectives

The RMSs are grouped into 8 different management objectives. For example, if you are looking for a way to improve water quality, look under the Improve Water Quality management objective.

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