California DWR Announces Water Plan Update

Integrated management, strong stakeholder collaboration and stable infrastructure funding are the three strategic pillars of the newest California Water Plan, a comprehensive report that addresses all aspects of the state’s complex network of water resources.

As the state continues to struggle with severe drought conditions, the plan also focuses on urban and agricultural water efficiency measures as well as managing for future demand, supply, climate and regulatory uncertainties.

Last week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the Highlights booklet and initial volumes of the latest edition of the California Water Plan, which since 1957 has guided the state?s water resource management and planning. The report provides the state government?s strategic plan for understanding, managing and developing water resources statewide for current and future generations.

Prepared over the past five years with the involvement of dozens of State and federal agencies and hundreds of stakeholders from diverse communities, it sets forth a suite of actions that together would improve the resilience and sustainability of our regional water resources into the future. The multi-volume plan also serves as a compendium of facts about where California gets its water, how it is used, who pays for it, and the many risks and opportunities of our complex, interconnected water management system.

?California?s complex water system features federal and state water projects, hundreds of local water districts, large coastal cities, and vast tracts of farmland,? said California Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin. ?Our landscape varies from temperate rainforest to desert, and our water sources stretch from California?s snowcapped mountains and substantial groundwater aquifers, to the Colorado River, to stormwater capture and recycled wastewater. To manage our water wisely, Californians need a shared understanding of our challenges and a vision for the future. The California
Water Plan Update 2013 delivers that and creates a path forward.?

Update 2013 explains why it will take hundreds of billions of dollars of additional investments over the next few decades to reduce flood risk, provide reliable and clean water supplies, recover over-drafted groundwater basins, and restore degraded ecosystems ? in other words, to achieve sustainable water management. Update 2013 includes a new finance planning framework and describes potential revenue sources including federal grants and loans, general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, assessment districts, rate-payer, user and impact fees, private investments, public-private partnerships, and more.

Update 2013 delivers a water roadmap for decision-makers, resource managers and water users including: how water is developed and used; in-depth summaries of over 30 water/resource management strategies available throughout California; a snapshot of regional water conditions, initiatives and opportunities in 12 regional reports; a range of future water and climate change scenarios, and more.

Released last week were the Highlights booklet and initial volumes of Update 2013 ?Investing in
Innovation and Infrastructure,? — Volume 1 Strategic Plan, Volume 3 Resource Management Strategies, and the first set of 12 regional reports (Volume 2). During the fall, DWR will release the other regional reports; and this winter, the Reference Guide (Volume 4) and Technical Guide (Volume 5), a compendium of research articles and documentation, furthering public access and transparency.

To read more on the report and the California Water Plan, visit:
http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/cwpu2013/final/index.cfm

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