A water budget is an accounting of the rates of the inflows, outflows, and changes in water storage in a specific area; they are important to understanding the movement of water into, within, and out of a watershed. Water budgets also provide an understanding of historical conditions and how future changes to supply, demand, hydrology, population, land use, and climate may affect the water resources of the area.
Water budgets are a required element of Groundwater Sustainability Plans; however, water budgets are not intended to be a direct measure of groundwater sustainability but rather to provide GSAs with an understanding of the basin that will inform and help guide future projects and management actions in order to achieve sustainability for the basin.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Handbook for Water Budget DevelopmentWater Budget Handbook FAQs_a
USGS: Water Budgets: Foundations for Effective Water-Resources and Environmental ManagementC1308_508
Regulations pertaining to water budgetsGSP-Regs-Art-5-Plan-Contents-Sub-2-Basin-Setting-Water-Budget
Additional water budget resources
Articles on water budgets at Maven’s Notebook
- Notebook water budget posts
Explore water budgets at the California Water Library