California State Water Resources Control Board

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California State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) is an organization based in Sacramento, California, United States. The WRCB works with other state agencies to protect water sources through water quality monitoring, pollution cleanup, waste discharge restrictions, law enforcement, public education, and databases. The state water board is contrived of five full-time members and nine regional boards with seven part-time members. All board members serve a four-year term, and are appointed by the California state governor, which is then overseen by the state Senate. Watershed boundaries determine each region’s borders to accurately assess the watershed’s water quality standards and set permitting system provisions based on geology, topography, and natural resources.


Mission

“To preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California's water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and all beneficial uses, and to ensure proper water resource allocation and efficient use, for the benefit of present and future generations.”

Goals

  • Implement strategies to fully support the beneficial uses for all 2006-listed

water bodies by 2030.

  • Improve and protect groundwater quality in high-use basins by 2030.
  • Increase sustainable local water supplies available for meeting existing and future beneficial uses by 1,725,000 acre-feet per year, in excess of 2002 levels, by 2015, and ensure adequate flows for fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Comprehensively address water quality protection and restoration, and the relationship between water supply and water quality, and describe the connections between water quality, water quantity, and climate change, throughout California’s water planning processes.
  • Improve transparency and accountability by ensuring that Water Board goals and actions are clear and accessible, by demonstrating and explaining results achieved with respect to the goals and resources available, by enhancing and improving accessibility of data and information, and by encouraging the creation of organizations or cooperative agreements that advance this goal, such as establishment of a statewide water data institute.
  • Enhance consistency across the Water Boards, on an ongoing basis, to ensure our processes are effective, efficient, and predictable, and to promote fair and equitable application of laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Ensure that the Water Boards have access

to information and expertise, including employees with appropriate knowledge and skills, needed to effectively and efficiently carry out the Water Boards’ mission.”

Three main programs

These programs mobilize the WCRB's mission and goals.

Water Quality

  • “Storm water
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Wetlands protection
  • Ocean protection
  • Environmental education
  • Environmental justice
  • Clean up contaminated sites, including brownfields
  • Low-impact development
  • Underground storage
  • Tank cleanups
  • Groundwater protection”

The Water board is responsible for enforcing water quality standards to uphold human health and safety. All prosecutions will be reported.

Financial Assistance

  • Administers grants and loans to construct
    • “Municipal sewage and water recycling facilities
    • Remediation for underground storage tank releases
    • Watershed protection projects
    • Nonpoint source pollution control projects”

These grants and loans are given to local agencies, organizations or public persons that share the common vision to protect and/or clean up water quality.

Water Rights

  • Issues permits for:
    • Capped water volumes
    • Water diversion and storage
    • Determining water availability
    • Determining a prior rights holder in the interest of protecting existing instream uses

These rights protect water quality and quantity during development processes and usage. Preserving natural features such as deltas, alluvial fans, bays, sounds, rivers, and lakes allows the ecosystem to remain unaffected.

Specific Programs

  • Electronic Water Rights Information Management System (eWRIMS)
    • A public information database that tracks information on the Board’s issued water rights permits and licenses.
  • GeoTracker Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program (GAMA)
    • Communicates basic groundwater protection information while also providing water quality standards and data.



References

  1.  "SWRCB Webpage"

California State Water Resources Control Board-Division of Water Quality

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California Environmental Protection Agency-Water Quality and Public Trust Section Manager

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Erin Ragazzi

http://www.calepa.ca.gov/StaffDirectory/org.asp?BDO=7&TIER1=SWRCB&TIER2=DWR