Goal 1: Sustainable Water Management

Manage and make decisions about water in a way that integrates water availability, environmental conditions, and community well-being for future generations.

Indicators with this Goal

  • Number and estimated capacity of basins with years-long aquifer declines (known as overdraft) or projected future declines.
  • Baseline water stress measures total annual water withdrawals (municipal, industrial, and agricultural) expressed as a percent of the total annual available flow. Higher values indicate more competition among users. This indicator was used by the World Resources Institute in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Equitable distribution of economic and health benefits from water management. Society expects that public trust resources like water are provided equitably. Although inequity may accrue when water is used in particular businesses, the original supply is expected to be managed and delivered in a way that provides equitable distribution of benefits.
  • The completion of restoration recommendations and key actions during the implementation phase of the process.
  • The maximum severity of drought during which core water demands can still be met, including social and environmental minimum requirements
  • The Ecological Footprint (EF) is a measure of the amount of biological productive land and sea area are required to meet the consumption and waste production patterns of a population or human process.
  • Energy required per unit of clean drinking water delivered.
  • Equitable decision-making process for water management, diversity of participating organizations. A key component to equity and environmental justice is equitable access by all parties to decision-making.
  • The maximum flood that can be experienced without exceeding some amount (e.g., $10 million) in damages. Resilience will increase with improved flows access to floodplains and removal of infrastructure from floodplains.
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land or water management, industrial/commercial activities, energy production, or transportation
  • Groundwater stress measures the ratio of groundwater withdrawal relative to its recharge rate over a given aquifer. Values above one indicate where unsustainable groundwater consumption could affect groundwater availability and groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The indicator was used by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Drought severity measures the average length of droughts times the dryness of the droughts from 1901 to 2008. The indicator was used by the World Resources Institute in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Flood occurrence is the number of floods recorded from 1985 to 2011. The indicator was used by the World Resources Institute in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Inter-annual variability measures the variation in water supply between years. This indicator was used by the World Resources Institute in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Participation rates in local stewardship by the local stakeholders such as municipalities, indigenous people, irrigation districts, community organizations, watershed associations, conservation groups, and stewardship groups.
  • Number of people whose drinking water supply is potentially unhealthy. Whether or not water is unhealthy to drink will depend on the concentrations of specific contaminants as well as synergistic effects of multiple contaminants.
  • The maximum storm intensity that can occur without causing more than some amount (e.g., $10 million) in damages due to water infrastructure disruptions, including levees and floods
  • Annual withdrawal of ground and surface water as a percent of total annually renewable volume of freshwater.
  • Total agricultural, residential, and commercial water demand, i.e. demand for all uses other than environmental needs and basic human drinking water requirements.
  • The water footprint is the sum of the water used directly or indirectly to produce goods and services consumed by humanity. Agricultural production accounts for most of global water use, but drinking, manufacturing, cooking, recreation, washing, cleaning, landscaping, cooling, and processing all contribute to water use.
  • Water Risk refers to the risk to water supplies from changes in climate and water withdrawals. The World Resources Institute used this indicator in the Aqueduct 2.0 project.
  • Water scarcity is a function of water availability and water use. This index is used by the global Environmental Protection Index and represents the over-use of water in a region.
  • Water stress index is typically defined as the relationship between total water use and water availability. The closer water use is to water supply, the more likely stress will occur in natural and human systems. This indicator has been used by the United Nations and others.
  • Distance traveled for units of drinking and irrigation water. The long-distance movement of water is one of the most energy-intensive activities in California and may cause social, economic, and environmental harm in the source areas.