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Tribal Relations - Office of Public Participation

The State Water Resources Control Board through its Office of Public Participation (OPP) have followed Governor Brown’s commitment via Executive Order B-10-11 to strengthen the State’s relationship with California Native American Tribes by improving overall communication, transparency, and government-to-government engagement through AB 52 consultations, Tribal Beneficial Uses and overall relationship building.  OPP also works in coordination with CalEPA, USEPA, the Governor's Office of the Tribal Advisor, and other state agencies.  A California Native American Tribe refers to either a federally-recognized California tribal government listed on the most recent notice of the Federal Register or a non-federally recognized California tribal government listed on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC).

New: Opportunity for public and tribal comment on the Draft Water Boards’ Tribal Consultation Policy

Draft Water Boards Tribal Consultation Policy

We are pleased to share the draft Water Boards’ Tribal Consultation Policy for comments until  noon, December 7, 2018. You can submit your written comments to Angela Rabe, Environmental Scientist at or at the below mailing address.

Angela Rabe
Environmental Scientist
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100
Sacramento, CA 95812-2815

The State Water Board will hold a series of staff workshops to present the Tribal Consultation Policy throughout the state. The workshops will provide information on the the draft policy and will be welcome to tribal members/representatives and any interested community members. We will have a webcasted workshop on November 15 for interested individuals who can not attend.

The information provided on this site can help better assist you in understanding the Water Boards, how our Tribal Liaison, office, and agency can serve you and provide  information on administering your own water quality programs that help protect your health and quality of life.

SWRCB Regions and California Native American Tribal Land Map

Funding for California Native American Tribes

The Water Boards are pleased to offer various financial programs and opportunities to assist state and federally-recognized California Native American Tribes to help protect and improve California’s waters. Funding for the loan and grant programs primarily comes from bonds passed by voters and monies provided by the federal government. Each program has its own guidelines, application process and funding cycle.

For additional information on the Water Boards financial assistance programs visit our Division of Financial Assistance page.
Updated: Funding for Californian Native American Tribes

Other funding opportunities offered include:

Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) are environmentally beneficial projects that are included as part of a settlement for environmental violations. Violators can voluntarily agree to undertake such projects in lieu of (up to 50%) of the penalty that they are required to pay for the violations. If you are have a project that you would like to have considered for listing as a SEP, please submit your SEP proposal here. CalEPA will route your SEP proposal to the appropriate board or department for consideration. View the Water Boards Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) policy and additional information here.

CalEPA Small EJ Small Grants Program offers funding opportunities, up to $50,000 per application to assist eligible non-profit community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazard. For additional information, including contact information visit the CalEPA Small EJ grants page. Approximately $1 million in grants are available.


The California Water Boards are committed to improving our communications and working relationships with California Native American Tribes. The Water Boards fully support the CalEPA Policy on Consultation with California Native American Tribes. This policy guides CalEPA and its Boards, Departments and Offices (BDOs) in their daily operations to ensure that they work with tribes in a knowledgeable, sensitive, and respectful manner.
To submit an initial request for notification letter (PRC, § 21080.3.1(b)(1)) to the State Water Resources Control Board please send a letter via certified mail to the following address:

Tribal Liaison, 19th Floor
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

If the Tribal Chair, has designated a consultation designee please provide their name and contact information on the AB 52 request for notification letter.

Training and Resources

CalEPA Tribal Training

Water Rights & Water Quality Training for Tribes (2014) - Part 1 | Part 2 | Agenda | Flyer


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For any general inquiries, questions or concerns related to Tribal Relations please reach out to the Tribal Liaison and staff at:

Tribal Liaison, Gita Kapahi
(916) 341-5501

Any inquiries regarding AB 52:

Angela Rabe
(916) 322-4266


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