Key Beneficial Uses and Key Areas: Focusing on What is Most Important

Introduction

One challenge for the San Diego Water Board is: How can the Board prioritize its work and allocate and use its resources so as to be more effective? In order to make informed and strategic decisions, our Practical Vision, in Chapter 1, calls for identifying "key beneficial use categories" and then identifying the waters, places, and/or types of water bodies that are important for each key category.

Identifying key beneficial uses and key areas that support those uses is an essential first step, but not the only step, in determining what is most important for the Board and helping the Board focus on what is most important. The Board may need to consider a variety of factors in decisions about how to prioritize its work and how to allocate and use its resources; nevertheless, key beneficial uses and key areas should always be among the factors considered in making such decisions.

  1. Key beneficial uses are the individual beneficial uses and categories that are most critical to protecting human and environmental health.
  2. Key areas are the waters and places where protection and restoration of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of waters is most important for a key beneficial use.
  3. Application: Where the Board has flexibility, such as efforts to restore degraded waters, the key beneficial uses / key areas concept can help the Board decide which work to undertake. In programs with less flexibility, such as permitting, the concept can help the Board decide which aspects of that work warrant greater attention.

KEY BENEFICIAL USES AND KEY AREAS RESOLUTION, STAFF REPORT, AND PRESENTATION

At the March 15, 2017 meeting of the San Diego Water Board, under agenda item 12, the Board adopted Resolution No. R9-2017-0030 supporting use of the key beneficial uses / key areas concept to help the Board focus on what is most important. The purpose of the resolution is to help the Board and its staff make decisions about how to prioritize work and allocate and use resources consistent with the Practical Vision ("Healthy Waters, Healthy People") endorsed by the Board in November 2013.

Resolution No. R9-2017-0030 also endorses the staff report that outlines the key beneficial uses / key areas concept, identifies key beneficial uses and many key areas, and suggests how the key beneficial uses / key areas concept can be applied to the work of the Board. The staff presentation at the March 15 Board meeting provides an overview of the key beneficial uses / key areas concept and its applications.

KEY BENEFICIAL USES AND KEY AREAS IN THE SAN DIEGO REGION

San Diego Water Board
Feb 2017

KEY AREAS

For the Key Beneficial use of:

 
DRINKING WATER
FISH & SHELLFISH CONSUMPTION
RECREATION
HABITAT & ECOSYSTEMS
Key Water Body Types for the Key beneficial Uses

First
(highest)
rank

 

Drinking Water Reservoirs
Ocean
Ocean & Bays
Ocean
Bays
Lagoons &Estuaries
Stream Systems
Second
rank
Groundwater
Bays
Harbors
Stream mouths
Third
rank
xx
Harbors, lagoons,
estuaries
Lagoons & estuaries
Stream systems
Stream mouths

Ponds
Harbors

KEY AREA FACT SHEETS

Contacts

Please contact Jeremy Haas (Jeremy.Haas@waterboards.ca.gov) for more information regarding use of the Key Beneficial Uses / Key Areas concept.