Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


Ellen Hanak


This Article reviews the effectiveness of California’s strategy of using enabling legislation and passive enforcement to encourage more integrated local water and land use planning. To shed light on the effectiveness of the current policy framework, the Article begins with a critical overview of the Urban Water Management Planning process, drawing on a detailed analysis of plans submitted in the early 2000s. It then evaluates how water supply assessments are proceeding, with a particular emphasis on steps used to identify adequacy, drawing on telephone surveys of land use authorities and water utilities conducted by the author in 2004 and 2009. A concluding section highlights shortcomings in the current system and suggests steps that could improve California’s planning process.