State Water Resources Control Board Priority Actions

The State Water Board, relying on its Strategic Plan and other State and federal requirements, identified a subset of priorities representing some of the most important work that the State Water Board Members agreed should be completed on a specific schedule.

These priority actions were determined by the State Water Board to be key to advancing its mission to protect and restore water quality and properly allocate water for generations to come. For each priority action, a proposed completion date and status are provided. The proposed completion date reflects the original schedule of commitments. The status indicates if the priority action is in progress or if it has been completed.

Priority actions may be removed when they have been completed and additional priority actions may be added at the discretion of the State Water Board. In addition, the priority actions do not reflect the extensive programmatic responsibilities of the State and Regional Water Boards. More information on the Water Boards' activities can be found within the Water Boards' annual performance reports and accomplishment reports.

2017 Priority Actions Proposed Completion Status
Adopt and Implement Permanent Water Conservation Regulations for Monthly Reporting and Permanent Prohibitions of Wasteful Water Practices
The State Water Board first instituted statewide water conservation requirements in July 2014. Current conservation regulations keep in place the specific prohibitions against certain water uses. Those prohibitions include watering down a sidewalk with a hose instead of using a broom or a brush, or overwatering a landscape to where water is running off the lawn, over a sidewalk and into the gutter. The State Water Board will adopt permanent statewide water conservation regulations for such wasteful water practices and for the monthly reporting of water usage from urban water suppliers.
December 2017 Draft regulations are currently under development.
Adopt Regulations Regarding Surface Water Augmentation (SWA) with Recycled Water
The State Water Board will adopt regulations regarding surface water augmentation (SWA), a form of indirect potable reuse. The regulation will be for the use of recycled water to augment surface water reservoirs used as drinking water supplies.
Fall 2017 Draft regulations currently under review.
Adopt Statewide Bacteria Water Quality Objectives and Control Program to Protect Human Health
The State Water Board is developing statewide bacterial water quality objectives and a control program to protect recreational users from the effects of pathogens in California water bodies, consistent with federally-recommended criteria. The objectives and control program would be adopted as amendments to both the Inland Surface Water, Enclosed Bays and Estuaries Plan, and the California Ocean Plan. 
September 2017 Draft objectives and control program are currently under development.
Adopt Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for Cannabis Cultivation on Private Lands
The State Water Board is working with the Regional Water Boards to develop a statewide General Order of WDRs for discharges associated with cannabis cultivation on private lands.
November 2017 Drafting WDR in coordination with the Division of Water Rights' "principles and guidelines" development effort.
Adopt Statewide Procedures for Regulation of Dredged and Fill Material Discharged to Waters of the State
The State Water Board is proposing Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State (proposed Procedures) for inclusion in the water quality control plans for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries and Ocean Waters of California. The proposed Procedures consist of three major elements: (1) a statewide wetland area definition; (2) wetland delineation procedures; and (3) procedures for the regulation of dredged or fill discharges to waters of the State. There currently is no single accepted definition of wetlands at the State level.
November 2017 Proposed procedures are currently under development.
Adopt the 2014/16 California Integrated Report and 303(d) list
The State Water Board will combine the 2014 and 2016 California Integrated Reports and schedule the California Clean Water Act Section 303(d) List for approval at a State Water Board meeting no later than September 2017. This will allow the six participating Regional Water Boards (Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9) sufficient time to complete development of their reports and complete their Regional Water Board approval process.
September 2017 The 2014/16 Integrated Report is currently under development.
Amend the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan to Incorporate San Joaquin River Flow and Southern Delta Salinity Objectives (Phase I)
The State Water Board is in a phased process to develop and implement updates to the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan (Plan) to protect beneficial uses in the Bay-Delta watershed. Phase I involves updating San Joaquin River flow and southern Delta salinity objectives and the associated program of implementation for those objectives included in the Plan. Phase II involves other comprehensive changes to the Plan to protect beneficial uses not addressed in Phase I. Phase I was initiated in 2009. A draft substitute environmental document (SED) and proposed changes to the Plan were released in late-2011, and a revised draft SED and proposed changes to the Plan were released in September 2016. Public comments on the revised draft SED and proposed changes to the Plan are due March 17, 2017. Revised draft changes to the plan and SED, and response to public comments are expected to be released by July 2017, and the Board is expected to consider finalization of the SED and approval of the Plan amendments in September 2017.
September 2017 Response to comments, final draft Substitute Environmental Document, and final draft proposed changes to the San Joaquin River flow and southern Delta salinity requirements in the Bay-Delta Plan are currently under development.
Amend the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan to Incorporate New and Revised Flow Requirements for the Reasonable Protection of Fish and Wildlife (Phase II)
Phase II of the State Water Board's update to the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan (Plan) focuses on changes to the Plan to reasonably protect fish and wildlife beneficial uses outside of the Phase I update, including: (1) changes to Delta outflow requirements; (2) new and modified inflow requirements for the Sacramento River, its tributaries, and three eastside tributaries to the Delta (Mokelumne, Calaveras, and Cosumnes rivers); (3) new requirements for cold water habitat; and (4) new and modified interior Delta flow requirements. The proposed Phase II Plan amendment would also include monitoring and special studies necessary to fill information needs and determine the effectiveness of, and compliance with, the new requirements, as well as actions other entities can take that will contribute to achieving the overall goal of improving conditions for fish and wildlife. Draft Phase II changes to the Plan and a supporting draft Staff Report that evaluates the potential environmental, economic, and related effects of alternatives changes to the Plan is expected to be released in the Summer of 2017.
Late 2017 Draft Phase II Plan amendments and draft Staff Report are currently under development.
Amend the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California (ISWEBE Plan) to Incorporate Statewide Toxicity Provisions
The State Water Board is proposing a statewide plan for assessing the toxicity of effluent and receiving waters (Proposed Toxicity Provisions). The proposed amendment would establish numeric water quality objectives for aquatic toxicity, a consistent toxicity test data analysis method, and procedures for determining reasonable potential and associated effluent limits.
October 2017 Proposed amendment currently under development.
Conduct the Water Right Hearing to Consider the California WaterFix Project
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) filed a joint petition with the State Water Board to add points of diversion or re-diversion on the Sacramento River associated with the California WaterFix Project. The California WaterFix Project involves the construction and operation of new water diversion facilities near Hood to convey water from the Sacramento River through two tunnels to the existing State and federal pumping facilities near Tracy. In addition, the California WaterFix Project requires changes to water right permits for the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project to authorize the proposed new points of water diversion and re-diversion. The public hearing on the petition was bifurcated into two parts (Part 1 and Part 2). Because construction will involve discharge of material into water bodies, DWR has also submitted an application for a water quality certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the State Water Board.
Late 2017 Part 1 direct testimony and cross-examination is complete. Part 1 rebuttal will begin April 25, 2017. Part 2 will begin after the conclusion of Part 1 rebuttal.

The 401 certification process will be informed by the water right change petition hearing which is currently underway.
Develop Funding Guidelines for the New Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program
The State Water Board is establishing a new grant program to provide funds to improve access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools. Guidelines are under development, as is a request for proposals for a technical assistance (TA) contract. Staff proposes to have the TA contract in place and the guidelines adopted in time to open the solicitation by July 2017.
July 2017 Draft guidelines and technical assistance contract materials are currently under development.
Develop Mercury Water Quality Objectives and Implementation Plan
In coordination with the Reservoir Mercury TMDL team, staff is preparing mercury provisions, which include water quality objectives and a plan of implementation.
May 2017 Draft objectives and program of implementation currently under development.
Develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Implementation Plan to Address Mercury in Reservoirs
The State Water Board, working with the Regional Water Boards, is developing a TMDL and implementation plan to address fish mercury impairments in approximately 160 reservoirs statewide.
June 2017 Implementation plan provisions currently under development.
Establish a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for
MCLs are health protective limits that are applicable to drinking water served by public water systems. Currently, there is no federal MCL for 1,2,3-TCP. In the absence of a federal standard, California may establish its own drinking water standards. The State Water Board is proposing regulations that establish drinking water standards for 1,2,3-TCP.
Summer 2017 Proposed regulations currently under review. Public comment period: March 4 - April 21, 2017.
Sediment Quality Objectives for the Protection of Human Health
Sediment quality objectives assess the risk that sediment-dwelling organisms in polluted waters pose to fish and shellfish that are eventually consumed by humans. The State Water Board is developing human health objective components of the Sediment Quality Objectives Phase II effort and is collaborating with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on studies that will assist in the development, testing, and implementation of Phase II human health objectives.
Fall 2017 Sediment quality objectives are currently under development.
Update the Water Boards' Water Quality Enforcement Policy
The Enforcement Policy establishes a methodology for assessing administrative civil liability. The use of this methodology addresses the factors that are required to be considered when imposing a civil liability as outlined in the California Water Code.
Early 2017 Proposed amendments have been developed.