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Cal State Document

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In general, California has abundant water resources, but they do not occur where people live and work, nor does precipitation occur when water is needed. To deal with these basic disparities, water agencies have built the most extensive "plumbing system" in the world. Local, regional, state, and federal agencies have constructed reservoirs and aqueducts throughout the State.

None of the water projects was constructed easily or without controversy. From one perspective, the history of California is the history of arguing about water. More and more, however, the debates are changing from competition among water users to broader discussions of public concerns and preservation of common interests.

Back in 19 57, the Department of Water Resources published The California Water Plan (Bulletin 3). That report set forth an "ultimate" plan of potential water development, essentially demonstrating that the State's water resources are adequate to meet its "ultimate" needs. Bulletin 3 was followed by the Bulletin 160 series, published four times between 1966 and 1984 to update various elements of California's statewide water planning. These four technical documents examined then-current California water in considerable detail, outlining the Department's expectations of water supplies and water demand in coming decades.

The present report differs significantly in approach from its predecessors. Taking a broad view of water events and issues in California, Bulletin 160-87 examines current water use and supply and considers at length how California can continue to meet the water needs of a continually growing population. The report also discusses several leading water management concerns, such as the quality of water supplies, the status of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and evolving water policies. Overall, Bulletin 160-87 sets forth a wide range of information and views that we hope will aid water managers, elected officials, and the public.


Bulletin 160-87

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