Cannabis Cultivation Waste Discharge Regulatory Program
Enforcement and Complaints
It is essential for the Water Boards to enforce water quality laws, basin plans, requirements, permits, and orders so as to attain healthy watersheds, effective regulation, and strong partnerships. Consistent and effective enforcement, which includes compliance assistance, is necessary to deter practices that could lead to violations; to promote justice; to reduce the incentive for an unfair economic advantage of noncompliance; to safeguard the public trust; and to protect and restore the beneficial uses of water resources.
If you are engaged in cannabis cultivation on private land in the Central Valley Region, whether as an owner, lessee, or operator, enrolling in the General Order and being able to demonstrate a valid water right may be required. If you do not obtain the appropriate permits, you may be subject to administrative and/or judicial civil enforcement. If you cause, or threaten to cause, harm to water quality, you may face civil liabilities and be required to clean up the property at your own expense. The unauthorized diversion or storage of water is subject to further and separate civil liabilities and compliance orders by the Division of Water Rights.
The Water Boards conduct enforcement actions in accordance with the State Water Quality Enforcement Policy. Enforcement actions can range from Notices of Violation or Non-compliance, where a discharger is notified that they are in violation of Water Law and given an opportunity to come into compliance, to Cleanup and Abatement Orders, Cease and Desist Orders, and/or Administrative Civil Liabilities (i.e., financial penalties) for more egregious violations.
The Central Valley Water Board takes complaints, conducts complaint inspections, and can conduct follow-up enforcement actions.
Individuals filing a complaint have the option to remain anonymous.
To report an environmental concern online:
Or see our Contacts page for staff contact information.