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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

None Scheduled

  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

Sami Harper
Sami.Harper@waterboards.ca.gov
(510) 622-2415

TBU Update

The 2021 Triennial Review is ongoing and an outreach effort to all Tribes with cultural and/or ancestral land in the San Francisco Bay Area. We mailed hard copy letters and followed up with emails and phone calls for tribes in the region per the NAHC list. The prioritization process for the Triennial Review will conclude in Fall 2021.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

None Scheduled

  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

None Scheduled

  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

None Scheduled

  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 Water Board staff coordinated two Tribal Summits focused on Tribal Beneficial Uses on March 18th and March 25th and a TBU Public Stakeholder Scoping Meeting on April 28th. Staff are bringing an Informational Item on the process forward for designating TBUs to the June 17-18 2021 Board Meeting.

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

None Scheduled

  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

On December 10, 2020, the Colorado River Basin Water Board approved the 2020 Triennial Review. The Triennial Review list contains 29 projects ranked 1-9. The project for Tribal Beneficial Uses is ranked 8 and is titled "Incorporate Tribal Beneficial Use Definitions and Designate Tribal Beneficial Uses for Specific Water Bodies." Two Tribes submitted comment letters in support of this project. At this time this project is not expected to be started before the end of 2023 based on its ranking.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

None Scheduled

  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. Staff hosted a Tribal Workshop on March 3rd. Three tribes paticipated in the workshop - Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

None Scheduled

  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

In 2018 when the San Diego Water Board began the most recent Triennial Review process, it became very clear to us that one of our basin planning priorities would become working much closer with the Tribal governments to ensure protection of water bodies using the Tribal Beneficial Uses adopted in May 2017 by the State Water Resources Control Board.

On March 8, 2020 the San Diego Water Board adopted a Basin Plan Amendment (BPA) for Non-Regulatory Updates that includes these new Tribal Beneficial Uses. Since then, significant formatting changes have been added to make the Basin Plan chapters compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those changes and several additional non-substantive edits are still considered to be “non-regulatory” in nature. However, in order to be transparent, staff recirculated the updates for a second public review period prior to submitting them to the State Water Board for further approval. The BPA was adopted again on December 8, 2020.

The San Diego Water Board and State Water Board held a Tribal Summit on February 6, 2020. Representatives from 10 local Native American Tribal governments, the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA), and Native American Environmental Protection Coalition (NAEPC) participated in the Summit. 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.

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

San Diego Water Board staff has coordinated a Tribal Summit scheduled for August 4, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM. The focus is on the Basin Plan Triennial Review and the proposed project to designate specific waterbodies with Tribal Beneficial Uses.

  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) in June.
For information about timelines, products, etc. see the Realignment Webpage: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/swamp/bioaccumulation_monitoring/program_realignment.html

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 28-30, 2021. The event will be virtual, free to attend, and will highlight and elevate Tribal voices, concerns, issues in the water data realm. For event details and to register, see: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/resources/data_databases/wq_science_symposium.html

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

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

None Scheduled


Tribal Coordinator

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

TBU Update

None

Upcoming Board Meetings/Workshops Relating to TBUs

Public Workshops - SAFER Program: Tribal Drinking Water