California cannot afford to waste or pollute its limited water supply.

We envision a California in which local water management is characterized by innovative, holistic approaches that ensure the resilience of our natural systems while enhancing the vibrancy of our built communities. LGC’s water work is approached through a water/land use nexus lens and is informed by the Ahwahnee Water Principles.

Our water team strives to increase the level of social justice in partnership with allied organizations, community members, and equity experts. We recognize that each community is unique, as are their water management issues. For each community in which we work, we evaluate the historic barriers to engagement and develop an engagement strategy to best meet the needs of the community.

Ahwahnee Water Principles

The Ahwahnee Principles for Water complements the Ahwahnee Principles for Resource-Efficient Communities that were developed in 1991. This guide provides a number of stewardship actions that cities and counties can take that reduce costs and improve the reliability and quality of our water resources.

Our Current Projects & Resources

 Virtual Engagement

LGC’s Best Practices for Virtual Engagement. The LGC has released a new guide for virtual engagement covering topics such as key considerations when it comes to effective virtual engagement, outreach strategies and more along with additional tools and resources.

 Borrego Springs

Collaborating for a Resilient Future. Sharing best practices and lessons learned for integrated planning, collaborative governance, and SGMA implementation

Groundwater Guide

 Solano Subbasin. Learn about groundwater and its role in the Solano groundwater subbasin. Check out these tools and resources. 

Small-Scale Green Infrastructure

Small-Scale Green Infrastructure projects respond quickly, cost-effectively, and inclusively to the climate crisis. These projects convert both paved and existing underutilized green space into highly functional drought and flood-tolerant landscapes within a few months.

Water and Land Use

Report on the Equitable Integration of Water and Land Use. While water management and land-use planning are highly fragmented, our work promotes equitable integration of the two in order to promote economic, environmental, and social resilience in California communities.

Santa Ana Watershed 

Watershed Ambassador Program. Equipping local policymakers in the Santa Ana River watershed with practical strategies and accessible tools to implement innovative solutions to their community’s water challenges. 

Groundwater Exchange

An online resource center connecting water managers, water users, and community members with tools and resources to support the design and implementation of effective Groundwater Sustainability Plans under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

NGO Groundwater Collaborative

A group of non-governmental organizations, tribes and individuals that share information and resources to aid NGO participation in the development and implementation of groundwater sustainability plans around the state.

Livable Places Update

Wildfires and Watersheds in the Time of COVID

Connecting Water, Land and Forest Management

Lessons Learned from State’s first Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Water Fact Sheets

  • Water Recycling and Reuse

    This fact sheet addresses California laws that encourage or require the use of recycled water, recycling and reuse techniques, and case studies of communities that are aggressively pursuing these options.

  • Water Conservation

    This fact sheet outlines conservation as a source of new water supplies, the economic and environmental advantages of conserving water, and the multiple opportunities available for conserving water.

  • Urban Stormwater Management

    This fact sheet provides some least-cost methods for meeting these requirements – by using nature’s systems to handle drainage water.

  • Land Use and Watersheds

    This fact sheet describes the critical importance of preserving watersheds.

  • Livable Communities and Water

    This fact sheet explains for elected officials the surprising links between livable communities and water – and the many benefits of acting on them.

  • Watershed-friendly Development for Sierra Communities

    How and where future growth occurs is essential to the long-term sustainability of the region’s water. This fact sheet provides strategies to align water and land use planning.


  • Low Impact Development (LID) Alternative Compliance

    This Plan serves as a demonstration project for communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley and beyond, providing options for local governments to comply with both stormwater management goals and sustainable growth goals.

  • Model LID Standards & Specifications for Riverbank

    This document provides specific guidance for LID solutions that are customized to the local context.

  • New Approaches to Stormwater Management

    The State Water Resources Control Board, via their nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards, implements the federal Clean Water Act by issuing “municipal separate storm sewer” (MS4) permits. The State Board encourages augmenting water supplies through multi-benefit, green infrastructure-based stormwater projects.

  • Smart Water, Smart Planning: Groundwater Sustainability

    California’s supply of accessible, affordable water, is limited. Meeting all needs sustainably is one of the state’s greatest challenges.

  • The California Water Action Plan in Your Community

    More intense droughts and reduced snowpack limit surface water flows, causing greater reliance on groundwater pumping. Extreme winter storms fall too fast to recharge aquifers, overfill our reservoirs, and cause structural damage.