Basin Planning

Basin Plan / Triennial Review / Amendments / Basin Planning Projects / Monitoring Programs / TMDLs / Bay-Delta

The Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay Basin (Basin Plan) is the Board's master water quality control planning document. It designates beneficial uses and water quality objectives for waters of the State, including surface waters and groundwater. It also includes programs of implementation to achieve water quality objectives. The Basin Plan has been adopted and approved by the State Water Resources Control Board, U.S. EPA, and the Office of Administrative Law where required.

Please address any questions regarding these pages or the Basin Plan Triennial Review to Richard Looker, Basin Planner, 510-622-2451,

Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the San Francisco Bay Basin

The Basin Plan has been updated to reflect the Basin Plan amendments adopted up through May 4, 2017. We are providing downloadable, printable chapters in both PDF and in html (which may be read online or printed from the web; html pages also contain many links to related laws, Board orders, etc.). Chapter 7 of the Basin Plan contains all of the adopted Water Quality Attainment Strategies including TMDLs. This chapter is organized geographically by basin. You can see maps of all the basins in the region in Chapter 2

HTML version of Basin Plan chapters:

PDF files available for viewing and download

More Information on Beneficial Uses (from 2010 Basin Plan amendment)

Supporting documentation for each beneficial use added to Table 2-1 in 2012 (Basin Plan amendment R2-2010-0100). This document contains information on nearly 400 water bodies within the region. Search on a water body name, or download the document to see bookmarks.

Basin Plan Amendments

Periodically, the Water Board considers amendments to the Basin Plan. Each amendment is subject to an extensive public review process. At a public hearing, the Water Board may act to adopt the amendment. Adopted amendments are subject to approval by State Board. In most cases, the Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) must approve the amendment as well.

Table of recent Basin Plan Amendments (that have all their approvals and have been incorporated into the Basin Plan) with links to supporting documentation.

Basin Planning Projects

Chlorine Water Quality Objectives and Total Residual Chlorine Effluent Limitations

San Francisco Bay Estuary Numeric Nutrient Endpoint (NNE) project

NNE Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meeting information

NNE Nutrient Technical Workgroup (NTW) meeting information

Triennial Review

Because the Basin Plan is the master planning document for water quality in the Bay Area, we regularly consider whether updates are needed to address new or changing water quality issues, and we involve stakeholders in this deliberation. This evaluation, called the Triennial Review, is required by, and follows the guidelines of, the federal Clean Water Act and the California Water Code. The Water Board will hold a hearing on November 10, 2021 to consider adopting a resolution approving the 2021 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan and associated list of prioritized Basin Planning Projects. The Staff Report is now available for review, and comments are due on October 13, 2021.

We began the 2021 Triennial Review with a June 21, 2021 public workshop. A document describing candidate Basin Planning projects is available for review (see list below). Here are the criteria that will be used by Staff to rank the projects.

Criterion Points
Water Board Mission (protect beneficial uses) 20
Climate Change Nexus 15
Public Support 10
External Resources Invested 10
Staff Resources Invested 10
Implement State Board Policy 5
U.S. EPA Priority 5
External Resources Likely Available 5
Geographic Scope 5
Input from Water Board Divisions 5

September 12 Board Hearing - The Water Board held a hearing to consider the resolution for the 2018 Basin Plan Triennial Review and list of prioritized projects.

2018 Triennial Review Workshop - We initiated the 2018 Triennial Review on April 6, 2018 by providing notice 45 days in advance of a May 21, 2018 public workshop. We will be providing a document for review on April 20, 2018, 30 days in advance of the workshop. We will accept written comments during a period starting on April 20 and ending on June 8.

2015 Triennial Review
The 2015 Triennial Review was completed in December of 2015.

December 16 Board Hearing - The Water Board adopted the resolution for the 2015 Basin Plan Triennial Review and list of prioritized projects.

2015 Triennial Review Workshop - We initiated the 2015 Triennial Review by holding a public workshop on August 4, 2015. The links below provide access to the public notice of the workshop, the workshop agenda, and a description of candidate Basin Planning issues for the 2015 Triennial Review.

The Water Board completed the Triennial Review in 2012 by adopting a resolution (see link below) and a list of priority Basin Planning water quality projects at its November 14, 2012 meeting.

The Water Board completed its 2009 Triennial Review by adopting a resolution (see link below) and a list of priority Basin Planning water quality projects at its July 8, 2009 meeting.

Please note that you need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 & higher to view the above PDF files.. If you don't have it, please click on the button below to download the reader for free.

Adobe Acrobat Reader logo