California Department of Water Resources (DWR) releases final version of its Water Plan Update 2023

April 11, 2024
The California DWR has finalized its Water Plan Update 2023 with a focus on equity for communities and challenges stemming from things like climate change.

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has release the final version of its Water Plan Update 2023.

The plan is a critical tool that can be utilized by water managers, such as water districts, cities and counties, and Tribal communities, to inform the use and development of water resources in the state.

“With climate change posing uncertain challenges, California Water Plan Update 2023 highlights the importance of innovation and investments in the state's watersheds, water systems, and frontline communities,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth in a press release.

“This plan helps build a future where all Californians can be more water resilient and how we can all take action to adapt our communities to thrive in more extreme weather conditions.”

The California Water Plan Update 2023 engaged Tribal communities, held workshops and meetings with other state agencies. This collaborative approach led to feedback and suggestions that were included in the Water Plan.

The Water Plan placed an emphasis on equity and dedicates an entire chapter to the challenges faced by California Native American Tribes. This is in accordance with Governor Newsom’s Exectuvie Order N-16-22 which directs critical action to be taken in addressing equity in all strategic plans and updates.

“Climate change and weather whiplash threaten the future of our water systems,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot in a press release.

“We clearly need to adapt to these changes as quickly as possible so California will continue to thrive. California Water Plan Update 2023 guides our way forward, laying a roadmap for updating our water management and infrastructure to ensure a resilient water future.”

The California Water Plan Update 2023 features seven objectives:

  1. Support watershed resilience and implementation.
  2. Improve resiliency of “backbone” State, federal and regional built water infrastructure.
  3. Improve resiliency of natural “backbone” infrastructure.
  4. Advance equitable outcomes in water management.
  5. Support and learn from Tribal water and resource management practices.
  6. Support and increase flexibility of regulatory systems.
  7. Provide guidance and support continued resources for implementation of actions toward water resilience.

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