California Water Plan

Photo of Leonicio Ramirez and his daughter Tania Ramirez as the first residents to receive water through a water distribution system in East Porterville California.

Leonicio Ramirez and his daughter Tania Ramirez are the first residents to receive water through a water distribution system in East Porterville, California. DWR/2016

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 five 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 2023

The next update of the California Water Plan is under development! You can find more information on the Update 2023 page. 


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.

Contact Us

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

Email Us

News and Updates

The Yuba River flows east to west from the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento Valley in Northern California.

DWR released the Public Review Draft of the California Water Plan Update 2018. The revised plan outlines a path for new or modernized infrastructure, restored ecosystems, efficient regulation, cooperation across water management sectors, and greater return on investment

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

On December 12, 2018, DWR and CDFW Directors Nemeth and Bonham respectively, presented progress on the voluntary agreements to the SWRCB as an alternative to the Board’s staff proposal requiring unimpaired river flows under the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan.


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Water Plan eNews

The Water Plan eNews currently only available by email. To receive future editions, please subscribe to to our listserv. (eNews is published every Wednesday.)