Each section of the CWCB Water Conservation Plan Development Guidance Document is available in its complete form as a pdf using the links in the first column. A directory of the pdfs is also available. The linked pages in subsequent columns contain excerpts from the pdf files.

View Model Plan as a pdf
View Worksheets as a pdf



The Model Plan template and worksheets present a detailed example of the:

  • Data collection and summarization;
  • Data evaluation and interpretation; and
  • Scenario development and analysis
    that are needed to plan for and implement meaningful water conservation.

Although the entity that is responsible for preparing the water conservation plan has the license, by statute, to decide upon how to prepare, develop, implement, monitor, review and revise the plan, meaningful water conservation that integrates conservation planning with supply planning requires planners to truly understand their systems, their customers and their resources. Therefore, the Model Plan contained in this section represents the work tasks that are suggested for water managers and planners to gain the level of understanding required to identify, evaluate and ultimately select the combination of water conservation measures and programs that meets the needs of the water utility or district and its customers.

With minor modification, the steps and tasks in the following Model Plan scope of work can be used as headings in a conservation plan document. That is, planners can remove or modify the action verbs that begin each step or task in order to create section headings. For instance, “Step 1 — Profile the Existing Water System” could be changed to “Existing Water System Profile” to make an appropriate heading for that section of the conservation plan. Task “1.3 Characterize Water Costs and Pricing” could be changed to “Water Costs and Pricing,” and so on.

It is envisioned that planners will be able to pull much of the information needed for a water conservation plan from existing water supply plans and other documents. In this way, the water conservation planning effort can focus on Steps 4 through 8, where conservation goals and measures and programs are identified, evaluated, and ultimately justified for implementation through benefit/cost analyses, and the consideration of other criteria, supported by the public.

For water utilities and districts that lack some of the “up front” water supply and demand information, preparing a water conservation plan following the approach presented in this guidance document may help to stimulate planning for other areas of overall water management. For jurisdictions that have not been able to develop some of the information needed in the first few steps of the Model Plan, the water conservation planning process can be initiated to help set goals, and select and implement conservation measures and programs (albeit those that fit with the resources available and the public need), realizing that updates to the plan may need to occur over a shorter period (say three years) as compared to those entities that have existing water supply and demand information. A shorter period for scheduled plan revisions may be justified for those entities that lack some of the other water supply and demand planning efforts to help keep the process of water management moving while some accomplishments are achieved that both the public and the planning entity can identify and share.

The processes and resources presented in this guidance document can be used to develop and establish short- and long-term integrated planning that will help to move any community toward more meaningful water conservation.

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Theme – all of the water conservation planning effort should be conducted with an eye toward public involvement and scrutiny. Water supply and water conservation issues have been receiving an increasing level of scrutiny from the press and the public, such that water utilities and districts will want to create a process of water conservation planning that is open and accessible. This has benefits to both the planning entity and the public since it is the public that ultimately implements many of the selected water conservation measures.