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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2009-10
The Water Boards brought to completion many significant initiatives during this past year. From the adoption of major policy actions leading to greater protections for California’s north coast rivers and streams to general permit requirements for managing stormwater, both during and after construction, these actions should result in significant improvements for the quality of the waters of the state. How well these actions protect our waters is what this report is all about. Measuring both what we do and whether the environment is improving is what “measuring for performance” is all about. This second Annual Performance Report builds on the Water Boards’ core water quality regulatory programs presented last year to include our water allocation responsibilities and funding programs.
As with last year’s report, this second year report relies principally on data that is available through the primary databases used by the Water Boards. This report offers an overview of the Water Boards’ efforts to protect and allocate the State's waters, and is part of the Water Boards’ efforts toward developing as performance-based organizations. As with any new effort, data availability limits the type of information that is reported. Over time, and with your help, the information presented will better illustrate the work and effectiveness of the Water Boards and the quality of our State's waters. Provide your feedback here.
What We Do and How We Are Doing
- Plan & Assess
The State and Regional Water Boards adopt plans and policies to carry out federal and State water quality protection laws. The plans and policies contain water quality standards and regulations, which form the basis of the Water Boards' regulatory actions for protecting the quality of the State's waters. The Water Boards monitor and assess the condition of the waters to determine if they are supporting their uses, detect long-term trends, and focus and evaluate regulatory efforts. more....
The State and Regional Water Boards identify the sources of pollutants that threaten the quality of the State’s waters and regulate those sources by imposing requirements to control the discharge of pollutants in permits. The permits, called “waste discharge requirements”, are based on water quality conditions, and the laws, regulations, plans, and policies designed to protect water quality. To be effective, the Water Boards must ensure that permit requirements are enforceable. Discharger compliance with permits is assessed through the review of waste discharge reports and inspections. Where documented violations of permit requirements occur, the Water Boards are responsible for taking enforcement actions. more...
- Clean Up
The Water Boards are charged with cleaning up a broad universe of contaminated sites throughout the state. These cleanup programs have been addressing pollution from former industrial activities and leaking underground petroleum tanks for many years. Site cleanup responsibilities primarily reside within four main programs at the Water Boards: the Underground Storage Tank Program, the Site Cleanup Program, the Department of Defense Program and the Land Disposal Program. These Water Board cleanup programs are charged with ensuring sites are remediated to protect the State of California’s surface and groundwater and return it to beneficial use. more...
The Water Boards enforce the pollution control and cleanup requirements that are established for discharges and contaminated sites. Where violations of regulatory requirements are detected, enforcement actions of varying types and levels of stringency are taken. For the most serious violations, penalties are often imposed. The Water Boards also collaborate with federal, State, and local law enforcement, as well as other environmental agencies, to address violations. In all cases, the principal goal of enforcement is to encourage compliance with requirements so that water quality is protected. more...
The State Water Board provides financial assistance through various State and federal loan and grant programs to help local agencies, businesses, and individuals meet the costs of water pollution control, development of locally available sustainable water supplies, and cleanup. This funding is made available for local and regional projects that can include construction of municipal sewage and water recycling facilities, remediation for underground storage tank releases, watershed protection, nonpoint source pollution control, and other water protection projects. more...
The State Water Board establishes and maintains a system of water rights to help ensure that the State's limited water resources are put to the best possible use and the public interest is served. A water right is legal permission to divert and use a reasonable and nonwasteful amount of surface water for a beneficial purpose, such as domestic, irrigation, industrial or recreation. In allocating water rights, through a system of permits, licenses, and registrations, the State Water Board works to ensure that vested rights, water quality, and the environment are protected. The State Water Board may also be called upon to adjudicate water for entire systems. more...
Beginning with FY 2009-10, performance targets were established for certain output measures. Targets are goals that establish measurable levels of performance to be achieved within a specified time period. Thus, for FY 2009-10 and in future fiscal years, actual work achieved will be compared to targets to better assess progress and describe Water Board performance. Targets are established by the individual Regional Water Boards in consultation with the State Water Board. They reflect differences in the needs within their respective watersheds and their work priorities given available resources. The targets for FY 2009-10 were derived with a consideration of each Regional Water Board's accomplishments during past years, current priorities, available resources, and the impacts of mandatory furloughs that were in place during FY 2009-10. more...
What Is The Quality Of The State's Water?