The California Water Boards are dedicated to a single vision: abundant clean water for human uses and environmental protection to sustain California’s future.
State and Regional Board Employment
The State and Regional Water Boards offer many job opportunities throughout California with skill-challenging paths that provide professional development and chances for advancement. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply - be ready for available opportunities by following a few simple steps.
To view a complete list of employment opportunities, and exams for job placement, visit the CalCareer website. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Still in School? No problem! The State Water Board also has an exciting internship program, which includes college internships and high school summer opportunities!
If you are interested in interning and working with professionals to preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California’s water resources.
Water Boards’ Exam Office: Phone (916) 341-5127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Division of Drinking Water
The State Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water’s twenty-four Field Operation Branch districts are responsible for the regulation of public water systems to provide safe water to all Californians that they serve. The field offices conduct inspections, issue permits, determine compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, and conduct enforcement activities. The Division’s Program Management Branch develops regulations, approves innovative treatment technologies, accredits environmental laboratories, maintains water quality databases and websites, integrates recycled water with potable water uses, and maintains quality assurance systems.
Division of Financial Assistance
The State Water Board's Division of Financial Assistance provides loans and grants for
constructing drinking water treatment and distribution
systems, municipal sewage and water recycling facilities,
remediation for groundwater contamination and underground
storage tank releases, stormwater capture and
use, and for nonpoint source pollution control projects.
The State Water Board has several financial programs
to help local agencies, public water systems, California
Native American Tribes, non-profit organizations, and
individuals prevent or clean up pollution of the state’s
water and provide safe drinking water.
Division of Water Rights
Anyone wanting to divert water from a stream or river not adjacent to their property, or anyone wanting to store water, must first apply for a water right permit from the State Water Board's Division of Water Rights. The Division of Water Rights issues permits for water rights specifying amounts, conditions, and construction timetables for diversion and storage. Decision-making stems from water availability, senior water rights, flows needed to preserve instream uses, such as recreation and fish habitat, and whether the diversion is in the public interest.
The State Water Board’s Bay-Delta Program facilitates the
development and review of plans and policies to protect
beneficial uses of the San Francisco Bay / Sacramento –
San Joaquin Delta Estuary.
Division of Water Quality
The State Water Board's Division of Water Quality works in coordination with the
nine Regional Water Boards to preserve, protect, enhance,
and restore water quality. The State Water Board sets
statewide water quality standards, issues statewide
general permits, conducts statewide surface and groundwater
monitoring and assessment, and issues orders for
cleaning up contaminated sites. The State and Regional
Water Boards also work with federal, state, and local
agencies, as well as other environmental agencies to
ensure a coordinated approach to protecting human
health and the environment.
Office of Public Participation
The State Water Board’s Office of Public Participation was created to strengthen our efforts at involving the public in our decision-making processes and respond to public inquiries about the Water Boards’ programs. This also means that the office will assist staff with designing and implementing effective stakeholder involvement processes to ensure all interested parties can participate in Water Board activities.
The office is most often called upon to assist the Regions, and State Water Board Divisions and Offices when dealing with tribal, Environmental Justice, and disadvantaged communities. Additionally, the office offers written (translation) language services to assist with Water Boards’ outreach efforts. The State Water Board Members and Executive Management support meaningful public participation and stakeholder collaboration/meetings. Therefore, the office has played an integral role in assisting staff and departments on many State Water Board high priority projects/issues.
Regional Water Quality Control Boards
There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards statewide.
The nine Regional Water Boards are semi-autonomous
and are comprised of seven part-time Board members
appointed by the Governor and confirmed by
the Senate. Regional boundaries are based on
watersheds and water quality requirements
are based on the unique differences
in climate, topography, geology,
and hydrology for each watershed.
Each Regional Board makes critical
water quality decisions for its region,
including setting standards, issuing
waste discharge requirements,
determining compliance with those
requirements, and taking appropriate