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Water Boards’ Structure

The State Water Resources Control Board (the State Water Board) was created by the Legislature in 1967. The mission of the Water Board is to ensure the highest reasonable quality for waters of the State, while allocating those waters to achieve the optimum balance of beneficial uses. The joint authority of water allocation and water quality protection enables the Water Board to provide comprehensive protection for California's waters.

The Water Board consists of five full-time salaried Members, each filling a different specialty position. Each board member is appointed to a four-year term by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). The mission of the Regional Boards is to develop and enforce water quality objectives and implementation plans that will best protect the beneficial uses of the State’s waters, recognizing local differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology.

Each Regional Board has seven part-time Members also appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Regional Boards develop “basin plans” for their hydrologic areas, govern requirements/issue waste discharge permits, take enforcement action against violators, and monitor water quality. The task of protecting and enforcing the many uses of water, including the needs of industry, agriculture, municipal districts, and the environment is an ongoing challenge for the Water Board and Regional Boards.

( Page last updated:  7/5/12 )