The web-based Sustainability Indicator Framework (SIF) provides a model for assessing sustainability using a science based approach and communicating these findings in a way that can be understood by agency managers, the public, and decision makers.

The framework provides a scientifically defensible approach for aggregating and assessing combinations of environmental, economic and social indicators. The geographical scope of the indicator framework varies, and is based upon the watershed area being evaluated. The framework can be used to evaluate a watershed’s or region’s environment, economics, and social conditions. The SIF acknowledges that humans and their activities are integral parts of watersheds and their ecosystems.

The web-based tool is intended to share various kinds of information in geographic (mapped) and library formats. The “Indicators” tab takes you to a list of the indicators recommended for the California Water Plan Update 2013. The "Map" tab will take you to a part of the website where you can see the results of evaluating indicators at the state scale. You can also click on explanations of the mapped indicators and locations of source data. The "Regions" tab has a similar function, but rather than selecting an indicator to view, you would click on a region and see the indicator results for that region. You can also click on watersheds and sub-watersheds within the region for similar information. Central to these approaches is the ability to "circle back" and find out about the indicator for which you are seeing results. The “Catalog” tab takes you to an organized list of indicators from around the world that have been used to evaluate various aspects of sustainability.