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DWR Publications

Every year, the Department of Water Resources issues technical bulletins, reports, and other publications and media documenting the measurement, protection, use, and management of California's water resources. This DWR Publications Repository is a partial and growing list of the publications and other media produced and distributed by the Department.

In this list you find a variety of types of publications and other media ranging from print material, to audio and video files. If the publication or other media is available in electronic format, a link will point to the appropriate electronic file. In many cases, publications are only available in hardcopy and cannot be downloaded. A contact phone number and email will be provided for cases where an electronic download is not available.

Please use the Comments or Suggestions link in the footer to request an accessible version of text-based documents.

If you are searching for a particular publication or media item, and cannot find it, for more information, please contact:
State of California
Department of Water Resources
Bulletins and Reports
P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
1416 Ninth Street, Third Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-1097

In addition to this Publications Repository, the Department of Water Resources publications, including those that are now out-of-print, are distributed to many California libraries and to libraries in other states and the District of Columbia. is a useful web site to search library collections in your community and thousands more around the world. (Link will open in a new browser window.)
(Sort Alphabetically or by Most Recent Publish Date)

Toggle Image Lines of Equal Elevation of Water in Wells Unconfined Aquifer San Joaquin Valley Spring 2011 2015 (PDF, 5.03 MB)
Description: Map of 10 ft. contour lines of equal elevation of groundwater levels of selected wells in the San Joaquin Valley, CA for Spring 2011. Well measurements were collected from January to May 2011 by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and cooperating water agencies and entered in DWR's Water Data Library ( The resulting point data were plotted in ArcMap 9.3.1 and contoured using Spatial Analyst at 10 ft. contour intervals. DWR produces a groundwater elevation contour map for the San Joaquin Valley annually in the spring. Maps for previous years may be found on the DWR Groundwater Information web page ( Historical groundwater level data for individual wells may be found on the Water Data Library web page.
Toggle Image Using Future Climate Projections to Support Water Resources Decision Making in California 05/30/2009 (PDF, 3.87 MB)
Description: This paper presents several advances in using future climate projection information in water resources planning, such as an improved understanding of how well selected climate models represent historical climate conditions and refined methodologies for representing streamflows, outdoor urban and agricultural water demands, and sea level rise in planning tools. Twelve climate projections were used to assess the future reliability of California’s main water supply projects.
Toggle Image Urban Water Management Plans Summary of the Status (2005) 12/31/2006 (PDF, 513 KB)
Description: A report to the Legislature pursuant to Section 10644(b) of the California Water Code
Toggle Image 2005 UWMP Guidebook 2005 (PDF, 2.59 MB)
Description: This Guidebook to Assist Water Suppliers in the Preparation of a 2005 Urban Water Management Plan has been prepared by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for your use in preparing Urban Water Management Plans (UWMPs).
Toggle Image Crop Water Use, A Guide for Scheduling Irrigations, 1992 to 1996 03/01/2004
Description: The report summarizes estimates of crop water use calculated by DWR for seven crops and provided to cooperating farm advisors, researchers, and consultants in the three southern counties in the San Joaquin Valley from 1992 through 1996. The estimates are available as weekly, monthly and normalized values for these years.
Main Body (PDF, 231 KB)
Tables (PDF, 686 KB)
Figures (PDF, 429 KB)
Appendix A1 (PDF, 1.96 MB)
Appendix A2 (PDF, 1.37 MB)
Appendix B (PDF, 914 KB)
Appendix C (PDF, 93 KB)
Appendix D (PDF, 629 KB)
Toggle Image California Water Facts Card 02/01/2004 (PDF, 271 KB)
Description: This wallet size card provides conversion factors for water on one side and California water facts on the other side. The water facts information includes a variety of annual totals, such as the highest and lowest annual runoff.
Toggle Image SB 610/SB 221 Guidebook 10/08/2003
Description: Guidebook for Implementation of Senate Bill 610 and Senate Bill 221 of 2001 to assist water suppliers, cities, and counties in integrating water and land use planning. Prepared by the California Department of Water Resources
Director's Letter (PDF, 45 KB)
Guidebook (PDF, 961 KB)
Toggle Image Water Recycling 2030 2003 (PDF, 27.27 MB)
Description: Recommendations of California's Recycled Water Task Force
Toggle Image Salt Separation & Purification Concepts in IFDM Systems: Poster 2003 (PDF, 224 KB)
Description: UC Davis display on salt separation and utilization report.
Toggle Image Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in CA 08/01/2000 (PDF, 4.00 MB)
Description: Part 1 describes a method for calculating landscape water needs, while Part 2 gives evaluations of water needs for individual species. Used together, they provide the information needed to estimate irrigation water needs of landscape plantings.
Toggle Image Ground Water Management in California - Six Methods Under Current Law (Water Facts 8) 08/01/2000 (PDF, 60 KB)
Description: Water Facts are short reports on water resources issues of general interest. This Water Facts describes the six methods of managing groundwater used in California. The methods are listed in the chronological order in which they were developed.
Toggle Image A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California, WUCOLS 08/01/2000 (PDF, 4.00 MB)
Description: The Landscape Coefficient Method (LCM) describes a method of estimating irrigation needs of landscape plantings in California. It is intended as a guide for landscape professionals. It includes information that is based on research and on field experience (observation). Readers are advised that LCM calculations give estimates of water needs, not exact values, and adjustments to irrigation amounts may be needed in the field.
Toggle Image DWR Publications (Bulletin 170-98) 2000 (PDF, 2.85 MB)
Description: Bulletin 170 is an annual online guide to the Department of Water Resources’ publications. Every year, the Department issues technical bulletins, reports, and other publications documenting the measurement, protection, use, and management of California’s water resources. Bulletin 170-98 includes summaries of all bulletins, district/division reports, newsletters, and brochures issued during 1998.
Toggle Image Napa River Trial Distribution Program 1998 Frost Season 02/01/1999 (PDF, 67 KB)
Description: This report describes the watermaster service provided by the Department of Water Resources under the Agreement for Trial Distribution on the Napa River during the 1998 frost season.
Toggle Image Coastal Branch 07/01/1998
Description: The Coastal Branch is the largest water development project undertaken by the Department in the past decade. The publication discusses how the system of underground pipelines, tunnels, and pumping plants serves water users in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
This publication is not available electronically. To inquire further, please contact:
Publications Clerk at (916) 653-1097 or
Toggle Image Urban Water Use in California (Bulletin 166-4) 08/01/1994
Description: In 1968, the Department began the Bulletin 166 series focusing on urban water use in California. This bulletin periodically updates historical urban water use data. Some objectives of the Bulletin 166 series are to: Prepare data and analysis for updating the California Water Plan, for use in other planning studies, and for general public information; Provide basic water use information including summaries of urban water production, delivery, and related data from local water agencies; Summarize historical water data and analyze trends in water use by hydrologic regions and major categories of use; Quantify self-supplied water use; Describe methods for forecasting future water requirements; and Assess the effects of water conservation practices.
Toggle Image Crop Water Use, A Guide for Scheduling Irrigations, 1977 - 1991 03/01/1993
Description: The report summarizes estimates of crop water use calculated by DWR for seven or eight crops and provided to cooperating farm advisors, researchers, and consultants in the three southern counties in the San Joaquin Valley from 1977 through 1991. The estimates are available as weekly, monthly and normalized values for these years.
mainbody (PDF, 774 KB)
estimating (PDF, 817 KB)
calculating (PDF, 1.10 MB)
appendixA (PDF, 1.09 MB)
appendixB (PDF, 669 KB)
appendixC (PDF, 1.21 MB)
appendixD (PDF, 466 KB)
Toggle Image Leaching (Drought Tip 92-16) 1993 (PDF, 51 KB)
Description: Leaching is applying irrigation water in excess of the soil moisture depletion level to remove salts in the root zone.
Toggle Image Water Balance Irrigation Scheduling Using CIMIS ETo (Drought Tip 92-20) 1993 (PDF, 389 KB)
Description: CIMIS is an integrated network of more than 80 computerized weather stations located at key agricultural and muicipal sites throughout California. It helps agricultral growers and managers of large turfgrass areas such as park and glof courses develop water budges for determining when to irrigate and how much water to apply.
Toggle Image Furrow Irrigation (Drought Tip 92-23) 1993 (PDF, 34 KB)
Description: Efficient furrow irrigation requires reducing deep percolation and surface runoff losses.
Toggle Image Sprinkler Irrigation (Drought Tip 92-25) 1993 (PDF, 34 KB)
Description: Efficient sprinkler irrigation requires applying the righ amount of water as evenly or uniformly as possible.
Toggle Image Irrigation Water Management Made Simple (Drought Tip 92-29) 1993 (PDF, 37 KB)
Description: Effective water management requires knowing the relationships between flow rate into the filed, acres irrigated, irrigation times, and the amound of applied water.
Toggle Image Irrigating Up Crops Efficiently with Sprinklers (Drought Tip 92-52) 1993 (PDF, 458 KB)
Description: How much water should be applied during a sprinkler irrigation - and therefore how long the run time should be - can be easily calculated if the crop evapotranspiration rate and reference evapotranspiration rate are known.
Toggle Image Water Quality Guidelines for Trees and Vines (Drought Tip 92-19) 1992 (PDF, 395 KB)
Description: Technical pamphlet discussing water quality guidelines for trees and vines.
Toggle Image How Much Water Are You Applying With Your Low Volume Irrigation System? (Drought Tip 92-56) 1992 (PDF, 381 KB)
Description: During a drought it is particularly importan to use only the amount of water necessary for irrigation.
Toggle Image California Well Standards (Bulletin 74-90) 06/01/1991 (PDF, 21.32 MB)
Description: This bulletin is a supplement to DWR Bulletin 74-81, Water Well Standards: State of California, December 1981. Standards in Bulletin 74-81 and this bulletin are minimum requirements for construction, alteration, maintenance, and destruction of water wells, monitoring wells, and cathodic protection wells in California.
Toggle Image Central Basin Judgment 1991 (PDF, 3.89 MB)
Description: Central and West Basin Water Replenishment District, etc., vs. Charles E. Adams, et al. case no. 786,656 Second Amended Judgment, May 6, 1991
Toggle Image Colusa Basin Drain Water Quality Literature Review Memorandum Report 04/01/1990 (PDF, 2.60 MB)
Description: This report presents a literature review of water quality in the Colusa Basin Drain (CBD), identifies potential impacts of alternatives to control flooding and drainage in the CBD, and recommends further study needs with respect to water quality in the CBD.
Toggle Image Sacramento River Recreation Survey 08/01/1982 (PDF, 16.77 MB)
Description: This survey assess the recreational use of the river and to provide a basis for evaluating the impact of water management and development proposals.
Toggle Image Evaluation of a Revised Operation for Antelope Reservoir 10/01/1981 (PDF, 16.41 MB)
Description: Evaluation of a revised operation for Antelope reservoir.
Toggle Image Irrigation of Twelve Million Acres in the Valley of California 1919 (PDF, 452 KB)
Description: This remarkable 13-page plan, written in 1919 by a retired USGS employee working out of the University of California, contains the broad outline on today's water system in California. It provides the strategy employed for the official 1930 State Water Plan.
Toggle Image 2013 Boundaries of Public Water Agencies, South Central Region 07/05/1905 (PDF, 4.37 MB)
Description: The Department of Water Resources provides a detailed map of public water agencies and their boundaries within the South Central Region.

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