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Department of Water Resources, Office of Water Use Efficiency and Transfers

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This guide will help water managers facing water shortages by showing them how to use tried and true methods of the past as well as making use of new tools and methods. Managing water shortages involves using programs to temporarily reduce demand and find alternate water to temporarily increase supply. The guidebook discusses water shortage management programs that belong in water shortage contingency plans. It was first written in 1988, and then updated in 1991 and 2008 to help water suppliers cope with potentially severe drought and other water shortages. The focus of the guide is to provide a step-by-step process to anticipate and respond to water shortages. The guidebook emphasizes two areas: First, it uses examples of well-conceived and executed plans in California and other parts of the country to illustrate recommendations 16 whenever possible. Second, it stresses that successful programs are commonly the result of a cooperative effort between water suppliers and their customers. Activities that foster this spirit of cooperation are highlighted.


Droughts; Water conservation; Water consumption; Water efficiency; Water resources development; Water utilities


Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management




This report was prepared in cooperation with:
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
California Urban Water Conservation Council