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The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is directed by Missouri statutory law, Section 640.415, RSMo., to "develop, maintain and periodically update a state water plan for a long-range, comprehensive statewide program for the use of surface water and groundwater resources of the state, including existing and future needs for drinking water supplies, agriculture, industry, recreation, environmental protection and related needs."

Since passage of the Water Resources Law in 1989, the department has undertaken studies, collected and analyzed data, held public meetings and conferences, and produced reports, plans and recommendations to address and fulfill the law's water monitoring, supply and use analysis, and planning obligations. The Water Resources Law also directs the department to ensure public participation in the development and revision of the state water plan and to create a State Water Plan Interagency Task Force to promote coordination among key state agencies. The Missouri Drought Plan (Revised 2002) is an example of statewide water planning and interagency collaboration aimed at serving the needs of Missourians. The Water Resources Law also directs the department to prepare an annual report (Missouri Water Resources Law 2004 Annual Report) that describes the progress the department has made in fulfilling the objectives of the Water Resources Law.

State Water Plan staff have been instrumental in raising awareness of Missouri River issues by sponsoring five Missouri River Constituency Conferences. Staff have also evaluated regional water supply needs, developed a joint Department of Natural Resources / Department of Economic Development analysis report entitled Rural Water Systems Project , and analyzed the impacts of the flood of 1993 Flood Report Analysis . Copies of the Flood Analysis Report , Quick Guide to Missouri Water Resource Agencies , 1990 Pre-Annual Status Report , 1993 Water Activities Report, and 1996 through 2004 Water Resources Law Annual Reports along with all other State Water Plan publications are available from the MGS publications repository.

This Web page is but one of several avenues of public involvement being pursued by DNR in formulating the State Water Plan.

Comprehensive State Water Plan - 2015

The department recently began the process to update and complete a comprehensive State Water Plan for Missouri. The process typically takes 2 to 5 years to complete and requires extensive involvement from all of Missouri’s water users, our stakeholders. The department will work with a consultant to facilitate the discussions that will help characterize Missouri’s water resources including surface and groundwater, quality and quantity. In addition, we will need to quantitatively define how those water resources are currently used – are they under utilized, over utilized or sustainably utilized. We’ll need to define all water users, their current needs, predict or model their future needs and ensure all of their needs are met. Where challenges or potential shortfalls are identified, the plan will outline options to address water resource needs, costs and potential projects. Keep checking back for more updates.

Current State Water Plan

  • State Water Plan: Phase I
    The department has completed a series of seven technical assessment documents to provide basic information about Missouri's streams and rivers, groundwater, water use, water quality, interstate water issues, hydrologic extremes, and water law.

    This water supply inventory and assessment serves to identify and discuss in detail the individual components that comprise and affect water resources and supply.

  • State Water Plan: Phase II
    The second phase of the state water planning process is the identification of regional problems and opportunities related to water use. The regions are keyed to the department's historic regional office service areas. This effort is focused on identifying and detailing the water use problems and opportunities faced by agriculture, industry, recreation, and used for drinking water supplies and environmental needs. Five reports; Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southern and Eastern, along with an Executive Summary, are scheduled for publication.