What We Do

DWR manages California's water resources, systems, and infrastructure, including the State Water Project (SWP), in a responsible, sustainable way.

Our responsibilities and duties include:

  • Preventing and responding to floods, droughts, and catastrophic events
  • Informing and educating the public on water issues
  • Developing scientific solutions
  • Restoring habitats
  • Planning for future water needs, climate change impacts, and flood protection
  • Constructing and maintaining facilities
  • Generating power
  • Ensuring public safety
  • Providing recreational opportunities

Dam Safety

Engineers and engineering geologists review and approve plans and specifications for the design of dams throughout California and oversee their construction to ensure compliance.

Drought Mitigation

Because drought is a recurring feature of California’s climate, drought preparedness is an ongoing activity that includes managing water supply reliability.


We strive to help Californians of all ages learn about water, including where it comes from, how we use it, and how to conserve it.

Emergency Management

We protect life and property from catastrophic events such as flood, drought, and dam or levee failure.

Flood Preparedness

We work with communities and emergency responders to prepare for flood season.


We're responsible for the construction, maintenance, evaluation, and safety of a number of water infrastructure facilities, including 34 storage facilities, 21 dams, and 705 miles of canals and aqueducts.


The SWP is the fourth largest producer of energy in the state, using its 5 hydroelectric generating plants and 4 hybrid pumping/generating plants.


The SWP provides extensive recreational activities, including camping, boating, swimming, hiking, and fishing. We invite the public to explore our 3 visitors centers.


Science is integral to our policy and management decisions – our scientists work in a wide range of specialties and develop solutions for the complexities of sustainable water management in California.


Sustainability is one of our core values; the goal of our work is to ensure the ability of natural ecosystems to meet the needs of future generations.

Water Supply & Storage

We operate and maintain a complex water storage and supply system, transporting water more than 700 miles from north to south. We also regulate the use of groundwater, which accounts for at least 1/3 of all water use in California.