Environment and Natural Resources

Water Facts and Spending

California’s water system is complex. This complexity can be seen in how the system is structured—with multiple sources of water that are interconnected in various ways. It is also evident in how the system is financed—using a variety of sources at the local, state, and federal level to meet the needs of urban and agricultural water users and the environment. This web page provides some "quick reference" tables and graphics that illustrate some key elements of California's water system.

On this page:

HISTORY AND MANAGEMENT


Selected Events in State Water Policy History—Timeline

Selected Events in State Water Policy--A Timeline

 

Many Entities Are Involved in Water Management

Responsibilities

Water Supply

Water Quality

Flood Control

State Agencies

Department of Water Resources

X

X

State Water Resources Control Board

X

X

California Public Utilities Commission

X

X

Colorado River Board

X

Delta Stewardship Council

X

X

X

Department of Pesticide Regulation

X

Department of Toxic Substances Control

X

Department of Conservation

X

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

X

Federal Agencies

Bureau of Reclamation

X

X

Army Corps of Engineers

X

X

Environmental Protection Agency

X

Geological Survey

X

X

Other Entities

Cities and counties

X

X

X

Special districts

X

X

X

Tribal governments

X

X

X

Private water companies

X

For more information, please see our publication California’s Water: An LAO Primer

 

California's Water System Moves Water, Mainly from North to South

California's Water System Moves Water, Mainly from North to South

For more information, please see our publication Achieving State Goals for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta


DROUGHTS


California's Precipitation Rate Is Highly Variable

California's Precipitation Rate Is Highly Variable

 

State Recently Emerged From Severe Multiyear Drought

State Recently Emerged From Severe Multiyear Drought

For more information, please see our publication The 2016-17 Budget: The State’s Drought Response

 

Use of Water Changes Significantly From Wet to Dry Years

Use of Water Changes Significantly From Wet to Dry Years

For more information, please see our publication California’s Water: An LAO Primer

 


FLOODS


Exposure to 500-Year Flood by Region

Exposure to 500-Year Flood by Region

 

Illustration of Key Flood Infrastructure Components

Illustration of Key Flood Infrastructure Components

 

For more information, please see our publication Managing Floods in California


GROUNDWATER


Implementation Timeline for Major Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Requirements

Implementation Timeline for Major Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Requirements


STATE BOND FUNDING

Water-Related General Obligation Bonds

1970-2014 (In Millions)

Year

Proposition
Number

Title

Amount
Authorized

1970

1

Clean Water Bond Law of 1970

$250

1974

2

Clean Water Bond Law of 1974

250

1976

3

California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1976

175

1978

2

Clean Water and Water Conservation Bond Law of 1978

375

1982

4

Lake Tahoe Acquisitions Bond Act

85

1984

2

California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1984

75

1984

28

Clean Water Bond Law of 1984

325

1984

19

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement of 1984

85

1986

55

California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1986

100

1986

44

Water Conservation and Water Quality Bond Law of 1986

150

1988

8

California Safe Drinking Water Bond Law of 1986

75

1988

70

California Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation Act

776

1988

83

Clean Water and Water Reclamation Bond Law of 1988

65

1988

82

Water Conservation Bond Law of 1988

60

1996

204

Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act

995

2000

13

Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, and Flood Protection Act

1,970

2000

12

Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000

2,100

2002

40

California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002

2,600

2002

50

Water Security ,Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002

3,440

2006

1E

Disaster Preparedness and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2006

4,090

2006

84

Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006

5,388

2014

1

Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014

7,120

Total

$30,549

a Proposition 1 also repurposed a total of $425 million from Proposition 84, Proposition 1E, Proposition 50, Proposition 13, Proposition 204, and Proposition 44.

For more information, please see the California Natural Resources Agency's bond accountability webpage.

 

Summary of Proposition 1 Bond Funds

(Dollars in Millions)

Purpose

Implementing Departments

Bond Allocation

Prior Appropriations

2017-18 Budget Act

Water Storagea

$2,700

$10

$416

Water storage projects

CWC

2,700

10

416

Watershed Protection and Restoration

$1,496

$809

$260

State obligations and agreements

CNRA

475

448b

17

Watershed restoration benefiting state and Delta

DFW

373

93

37

Conservancy restoration projects

Conservancies

328

163

60

Enhanced stream flows

WCB

200

78

39

Los Angeles River Restoration

Conservancies

100

98

Urban watersheds

CNRA

20

10

9

Groundwater Sustainability

$900

$845

$35

Groundwater cleanup projects

SWRCB

800

764b

Groundwater sustainability plans and projects

DWR

100

61

35

Regional Water Management

$810

$290

$217

Integrated Regional Water Management

DWR

510

87

214

Stormwater management

SWRCB

200

105

3

Water use efficiency

DWR

100

98

Water Recycling and Desalination

$725

$663

$1

Water recycling

SWRCB

725

598b

Desalination

DWR

51

1

Drinking Water Quality

$520

$475

$5

Drinking water for disadvantaged communities

SWRCB

260

248

3

Wastewater treatment in small communities

SWRCB

260

227

2

Flood Protection

$395

$111

Delta flood protection

DWR and CVFPB

295

55

Statewide flood protection

DWR and CVFPB

100

56

Administration and Oversight

$2

$2

Administrationc

DWR and CNRA

2

2

Totals

$7,546

$3,093

$1,047

aFunding is continuously appropriated, not approved by the Legislature through the annual budget process. Appropriation amounts shown reflect the administrations’s estimates of the amount of funds that will be allocated in a given year.

bReflects reversion of some previously appropriated funds, as approved in the 2017-18 Budget Act.

cBond does not provide a specific allocation for bond administration and oversight, but allows a portion of other allocations to be used for this purpose.

CWC = California Water Commission; CNRA = California Natural Resources Agency; DFW = Department of Fish and Wildlife; WCB = Wildlife Conservation Board; DWR = Department of Water Resources; SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board; and CVFPB = Central Valley Flood Protection Board.


Last Updated: December 2017