DWR releases California Water Plan for public review

Draft of the California Water Plan Update 2005 offers a proposed strategic plan to meet the state's water needs through 2030...

SACRAMENTO, CA, April 14, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The State Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released the public review draft of the California Water Plan Update 2005, a proposed strategic plan to meet the state's water needs through 2030.

"Public participation is especially important when we are planning for the state's future water needs," said DWR Director Lester A. Snow. "We want to involve as many Californians as possible to make decisions that reflect the diverse needs of our state and help use our water wisely."

Update 2005 is the product of unprecedented public input from a 65-member advisory committee representing agriculture, urban water districts, businesses, environmentalists, American Indians, environmental justice advocacy, cities, counties, federal and State agencies, the California Bay-Delta Authority, academia, and different regions of California. The plan also incorporates input from a 350- member extended review forum, and more than 2,000 interested members of the public.

Update 2005 addresses the state's changing water management and more accurately reflects the roles of the State and federal governments and the growing role of regional and local agencies in California water management. The Water Plan draft proposes a "Framework for Action" that reflects today's greater emphasis on integrated regional water management to help communities meet their objectives, as well as the need to improve statewide water management systems. This framework will enable California to use water efficiently, protect water quality and support environmental stewardship.

"This will be an action plan to ensure our state has the water it needs for the next generation of Californians," said Snow. "Working closely with representatives from the water community, agriculture industry, environmental organizations and local governments, we are developing a roadmap to help make the right choices for our growing population and dynamic economy, while promoting water use efficiency and preserving our natural surroundings."

For the first time, the Water Plan includes a short- and long-term implementation strategy, and details 25 actions, such as water conservation and recycling, conjunctive management and groundwater storage, surface storage and conveyance, system reoperation and water transfers, and desalination; as well as strategies to protect water quality, restore the environment, and improve watershed and floodplain management. These strategies and actions, when implemented at state, regional and local levels, will help sustain California's communities, economy and environment.

Today's release launches an extensive public review process on the water plan and its recommendations. Public hearings will be held throughout the state in June, with times and locations soon to be announced. The final Water Plan Update 2005 will be released this fall.

Update 2005 is packaged in five volumes in addition to a Highlights summary document. Except in cases of special need, only Volume I and the Highlights summary will be available in hard copy. All volumes will be contained on a CD packaged with the Highlights document. The entire Water Plan is available online at www.waterplan.water.ca.gov. DWR will also accept and publish public comments to the Water Plan draft on this website.

The Department of Water Resources first published the California Water Plan in 1957 and has now updated it eight times in the Bulletin 160 series.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

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