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 complete document as a pdf file


Sound conservation planning, which relates to demand-side management of water use, is a multi-step process that should be fully integrated with water supply planning. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1998), under provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, has promulgated voluntary guidelines that identify nine steps for comprehensive, effective conservation planning. In the most recent comprehensive book on water conservation, water conservation expert Amy Vickers (2001) sets out a similar list of ten steps. The table below lists the steps outlined by both sources.

Water Conservation Planning Steps from Key Literature Sources

U.S. EPA (1998)

Vickers (2001)

1. Specify conservation planning goals

1. Identify conservation goals

2. Develop a water system profile

2. Develop a water use profile and forecast

3. Prepare a demand forecast

3. Evaluate planned facilities

4. Describe planned facilities

4. Identify and evaluate conservation measures

5. Identify water conservation measures

5. Identify and assess conservation implementation techniques

6. Analyze benefits and costs

6. Analyze benefits and costs

7. Select conservation measures

7. Select conservation measures and incentives

8. Integrate resources and modify forecasts

8. Prepare and implement the conservation plan

9. Present implementation and evaluation strategy

9. Integrate conservation and supply plans, modify forecasts


10. Monitor, evaluate, and revise program as necessary



Water Conservation Planning Compliments Water Supply Master Planning

Water conservation planning is simply the logical compliment to water supply master planning for it requires the planning entity to bring together organizational resources from both sides of the utility or district to develop cost-effective solutions to meet future water needs.