As populations continue to soar, major cities face great challenges in sustaining its water supplies with stressed water resources. in this paper, authors compared water planning processes for two cities: Houston, Texas, United States and Shanghai, Chin. Water plans were developed based on projection of water demands, asesessment of water resources availability/supplies capacity, strategies in meeting future water demands. Houston water plan is part of the regional water drought contigency plan (Region H) in Texas State. It used a bottom-up approach. The population projection was made by the State, while water demands and water supplies as well as management strategies for addressing watter shortage for droughts were made by consensus of local stakeholders through a regional planning group and approved by the State as part of the State Water Plan. In opposite Shanghai used a top-down approach. The municipal government projected populaiton growth, estimated future water demands and assessed water availability, recommend strategies to address water shortage. The plan was further evaluated by experts from Chinese Academcies of Sciences and Engineering, national administrations for urban development, land and water resources management. One fo the common strategies shared by both cities is water conservation, which reducces water demands. Due to limited availability of groundwater for municipal water supplies as result of land subsidence, both citie sare targeting surface water for its future supplies. However surface water shared for future supplies were secured in different ways. Shanghai is expected to increase surface wateer share by using more bypassing river water (Taihu Lake and the Yangtze River) to solve water shortage due to poor water quality, while Houston are (Region H) is expecitng to expand surface water supplies through inter-basin transfer from the Trinity River and Lake Livingston to Lake Houston to convey surface water to solve water shortage due to limited water availabitliy locally. Moreover financial approaches for implementing strategies (infrastructure improvement and construction) were also different. Through comparative studies, the authors anticipated to share lessons learned fthrough planning processes and experiences gained in addressing different types of water shortages as well as institutional and policy constraints.