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Regional Water Board Updates on Tribal Beneficial Uses within Basin Plans

Welcome to the Regional Water Board Updates on Tribal Beneficial Uses within Basin Plans page. The nine Regional Water Boards are in different stages of their Basin Plan amendment processes to include the Tribal Beneficial Uses and designate surface waters. Below are ways to get involved:

  • Contact your Regional Water Board Tribal Coordinator(s) to set up a time to meet and learn about Tribal Beneficial Uses efforts and timeframes in your region.
  • Share information about Tribal Beneficial Uses with your Tribal Council and/or community.
  • Submit a letter of support to a Regional Water Board, attend a Regional Water Board meeting, and encourage your Tribe or allies to submit letters of support.

For any questions or assistance on this page, please contact: Tribal-Liaison@waterboards.ca.gov

  Regional Water Boards' Quarterly Updates

[Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Charles (Chuck) Striplen
Charles.Striplen@waterboards.ca.gov
(707) 576-2689

TBU Update

The Regional Tribal Coordinator has finalized a draft work plan for this project and conducting a number of “pre-consultation briefings” with Tribes and Tribal organizations in Region 1. Region 1 may partner with the CA Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) on the Tribal outreach strategy. CIEA currently facilitates the tribal outreach functions of the North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP - North Coast IRWM), and they received an EJ grant from CalEPA which included a support task for this project. We will be conducting Tribal outreach on this project (early and meaningful) separate and apart from “public engagement”. Public engagement will largely follow the standard approach for Board items in 2022.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara (north of Morgan Hill), Solano, Sonoma counties]

Tribal Coordinator

James Ponton
James.Ponton@waterboards.ca.gov
(510) 622-2492

TBU Update

The 2018 Triennial Review listed Tribal Beneficial Uses as priority 7 of 7. There is currently no public outreach as we do not have Tribal Beneficial Uses actions planned. There are limited resources assigned to this task and it will be reviewed again in the upcoming Triennial Review.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Kern (small portions), Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo (southern portion), Santa Barbara, Santa Clara (south of Morgan Hill), Santa Cruz, Ventura (northern portion) counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Angela Schroeter
Angela.Schroeter@waterboards.ca.gov
(805) 542-4644

TBU Update

Tribal Beneficial Uses are included in our 2017 Triennial Review, as priority #15 out of 21 issues. Therefore, it may be some time before they are finalized. The next triennial review public comment period is tentatively scheduled for 2021, at which time the public could comment on the prioritization of a tribal beneficial uses BPA.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Kern (small portions), Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (small portions), Ventura counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Susana Lagudis
Susana.Lagudis@waterboards.ca.gov
(213) 576-6694

TBU Update

On November 12, 2020, the Los Angeles Regional Water Board adopted a Resolution (R20-004) approving Basin Planning projects to be addressed during the 2020-2022 Triennial Review period. These projects included (i) inclusion of the State Water Board's tribal and subsistence beneficial use definitions into the Los Angeles Region's Basin Plan, and (ii) initiation of outreach efforts with Tribal Representatives for potential waterbody-specific designations of the tribal beneficial uses.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa (East), El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Nevada, Napa, (N. East), Placer, Plumas, Lake, Sierra, Shasta, Sutter, Solano (West), Sacramento, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Tehama, Tulare, Stanislaus, Yolo, Yuba, (Very small portions of San Benito, San Luis Obispo) counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Robert L’Heureux
Robert.LHeureux@waterboards.ca.gov
(916) 464-4736

TBU Update

Central Valley Regional Water Board staff are preparing to bring a Resolution to the Central Valley Water Board to add the Tribal Beneficial Use definitions to the Central Valley Water Quality Control Plans in 2021.

Central Valley Regional Water Board staff have begun soliciting input from California Native American Tribes in the Region on the process and information needs to move forward with designations. Central Valley Regional Water Board staff are looking to begin the process by designating waters not impacted with mercury in upper watersheds for the CUL beneficial use. That will enable staff to formalize discussions with Tribes on the proposed process while developing a “template” for expanding designations to include waters with mercury impacts and the T-SUB and SUB beneficial uses.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Central Valley Regional Water Board staff are coordinating two Tribal Summits focused on Tribal Beneficial Uses on March 18th and March 25th. Fore more information please contact Elizabeth Betancourt at elizabeth.betancourt@waterboards.ca.gov.

Staff have set a date for TBU Public Stakeholder Scoping Meeting, which will take place on April 28th from 2-4pm.

  Visit the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Alpine, El Dorado, Inyo, Kern (East), Lassen (East side and Eagle Lake), Los Angeles (N/E corner), Modoc (East), Mono, Nevada, Placer, San Bernardino, Sierra counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Cindy Wise
Cindy.Wise@Waterboards.ca.gov
(530) 542-5408

TBU Update

In November 2018, the Lahontan Regional Water Board adopted its Triennial Review that lists Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) priorities for the next three years (Resolution No. R6T-2018-0050) One of the top ten priorities in the Resolution was to add Tribal Cultural, Tribal Subsistence Fishing, and Subsistence Fishing beneficial uses (CUL, T-SUB, SUB) to the Basin Plan, and to engage with Tribes to identify waters that support Tribal beneficial uses. At the September 16, 2020 Board Meeting, the Lahontan Water Board adopted Resolution No. R6T-2020-0057 to add the BU definitions for CUL, T-SUB, and SUB as a Basin Plan amendment (BPA). The BPA added only the definitions and did not include designation of water bodies with those uses. As next steps, staff is preparing the amendment documents for the required consideration by the State Water Board at an upcoming meeting (tentatively May 2021). Staff is also planning meeting(s) to “kick-off” the beneficial uses designation process in consultation with the tribes in the Region. These outreach events with tribes will be the first steps in developing the next BPA(s) that will designate the CUL, T-SUB, and SUB uses for waters in the Region.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Maria Davydova
Maria.Davydova@waterboards.ca.gov
(760) 776-8947

TBU Update

In January 2020, staff sent out a solicitation email to all Tribes with ancestral lands within the Colorado River Basin region, soliciting Triennial Review projects, including potential TBU designations. The letter provided the options of either requesting an individual meeting to discuss this, or attending a group meeting. On January 28, 2020 the group meeting was held and staff met with five Tribal environmental department representatives to provide information about the Triennial Review process and TBU designation. No individual meetings were requested.

On April 7, staff sent out a Public Notice for an initial comment period soliciting Triennial Review projects from general public and stakeholders with a deadline of May 27. Staff forwarded the notice to Tribal environmental contacts to request their submissions by the same deadline. Two Tribes submitted letters requesting the including of the TBU definitions in the Region 7 Basin Plan. Specific water bodies have not been requested for designation at this time. One of the Tribes has suggested designating all water bodies with TBUs, however TBUs can only be designated following a specific confirmation by a Tribe of the existence or potential existence of those uses for the specific water body. Staff has released Response to Comments and Triennial Review List incorporating those recommendations; both documents were released on September 25 for a 30-day public comment period.

A public workshop on the Triennial Review was held on October 8 and a public hearing on the Triennial Review is planned for December 10.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Claudia Tenorio
Claudia.Tenorio@waterboards.ca.gov
(951) 782-4963

TBU Update

The Santa Ana Water Board did not identify the Tribal Beneficial Uses as a priority for the 2019 Triennial Review. However, the Santa Ana Water Board will add the Tribal Beneficial Use definitions to the Basin Plan as part of the non-regulatory Basin Plan Amendment (BPA) to include the new REC1 statewide bacteria water quality objectives. Currently, Santa Ana Water Board staff have prepared the draft language for the proposed BPA.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Staff hosted a Tribal Workshop on March 3rd on the proposed BPA and TBUs. For more information about this past workshop please contact Claudia Tenorio at Claudia.Tenorio@waterboards.ca.gov

  Visit the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board website.


[Imperial, Riverside, San Diego counties]

Tribal Coordinator

Cynthia Gorham
Cynthia.Gorham@waterboards.ca.gov
(619) 521-3921

TBU Update

The Region 9 Board adopted a Basin Plan Amendment in March of 2020 for Non-Regulatory Updates that include new Tribal Beneficial Uses.

The Region 9 Board and State Water Board held a Tribal Summit in February 2020. The purpose of the Tribal Summit was to seek input from the Tribes on water quality concerns, and to hear the Tribes’ interest in designating Tribal Beneficial Uses to help protect water bodies within the San Diego Water Board’s jurisdiction that may have cultural and traditional importance to local Tribes.

A $50,000 CalEPA Environmental Justice small grant was awarded to SCTCA member Tribes in April 2020 to fund the background work needed to designate Tribal beneficial uses in water bodies. The results of the work will inform the Region 9 Board’s consideration of designating beneficial uses in specific waters.

The Region 9 Board will continue to consult with the Tribes on new projects.

The Region 9 Board 2021 Triennial Review will include a Tribal Beneficial Uses waterbody designation project. Region 9 Staff will work closely with the tribal representatives to determine which waterbodies should be included and how those waterbodies should be designated. This project will begin after the 2021 Triennial Review is adopted.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon

  Visit the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board website.

  Regional Water Boards Map

  State Water Board Division's Quarterly Updates

Tribal Coordinator

Anna Holder
Anna.Holder@waterboards.ca.gov
(916) 341-5096

TBU Update

SWAMP's Bioaccumulation Monitoring Program is undergoing a realignment. One key piece of this effort is to have comprehensive, diverse, and intentional engagement with communities and Tribes who consume fish or shellfish for cultural or subsistance purposes. Part of the engagement process will be to identify what bioaccumulation data and information gaps exist for each region's Tribes and commuinities, and then to develop a plan for filling in those gaps through regular Program monitoring or special studies, as appropriate. We will be conducting region by region realignment efforts over the coming years, starting with San Diego Regional Water Board (Region 9). Anna will keep this group updated of progress and be sure to coordinate with OPP and Regional Tribal coordinators as we begin to engage with their respective regions. For information about timelines, products, etc. see the Realignment Webpage.

SWAMP's Freshwater Harmful Algal Bloom (FHAB) Program is modernizing their data infrastructure. As part of this effort, we are partnering with the Internet of Water and the Commons to engage and work with NGOs and Tribes involved in FHAB work to figure out how they can more easily submit data to the FHAB Program, which will be used to inform Program monitoring, event response, and risk communication. Initial engagement was conducted in 2020 (referred to as Phase 1), and intial recommendations were develped (see: https://internetofwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/FHAB-Data-Ingestion-Model-Recommendation-Document1.pdf). We are in the early stages of planning Phase II, which will involve discussing how to begin to implement and test some of those Phase I recommendations.

The Water Data Science Symposium is planned for June 29-30, 2021. The event will be virtual, free to attend, and event organizers are hoping to highlight and elevate Tribal voices, concerns, issues in the water data realm. If anyone is aware of individuals who may be interested in presenting or participating on a panel, please contact Anna. For event details, see: Water Data Science Symposium page. If you have questions about any of these efforts, please don't hesitate to contact Anna (Anna.Holder@waterboards.ca.gov) directly.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon


Tribal Coordinator

Daniel Ellis
Daniel.Ellis@waterboards.ca.gov
(916) 322-7787

TBU Update

None

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Coming soon