Office of the Delta Watermaster

Compliance with Water Board Requirements During the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency
UPDATED AS OF MARCH 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m.

The State Water Resources Control Board and the nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards (the Water Boards) are continuing their efforts to protect public health, safety, and the environment consistent with all federal, state, and local public health directives and guidelines related to COVID-19.

Please be aware that timely compliance by the regulated community with all Water Board orders and other requirements (including regulations, permits, contractual obligations, primacy delegations, and funding conditions) is generally considered to be an essential function during the COVID-19 response.  As a result, the Water Boards consider compliance with board-established orders and other requirements to be within the essential activities, essential governmental functions, or comparable exceptions to shelter-in-place directives provided by local public health officials.

If there is a specific Water Board order or requirement that cannot be timely met because it would be inconsistent with current governmental directives or guidelines related to COVID-19, the entity responsible for compliance with the Water Board order or requirement must notify the applicable Water Board Office promptly. With respect to annual reports of water diversion and use, the notification shall be via electronic mail to the appropriate email address identified below, and shall include:

  • the specific annual report or other requirement that cannot be timely met,
  • the inconsistent COVID-19 directive or guideline which prevents timely compliance,
  • an explanation of why the responsible entity cannot timely meet the report deadline or other requirement, and
  • any action that the entity will take in lieu of complying with the specific report deadline or other requirement.

Water Board staff will do their best to respond within 24/48 hours.

Please note that more specific directions for certain types of Water Board orders and other requirements may also be provided.

Contacts for the Water Boards

State Water Board – Water Rights

Reporting Reminder:

  • April 1, 2020 – Deadline to report water use for 2019 under Licenses
  • July 1, 2020 – Deadline to report water use for 2019 under Statements of Water Diversion and Use

The Office of the Delta Watermaster – Background

The Office of the Delta Watermaster was created as part of the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The Watermaster is an independent officer of the State, appointed to a four-year term by the State Water Resources Control Board, reporting jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council.

Important Reminder!
  • January 1, 2020 - Deadline for large diverters to provide telemetered diversion data (diverting more than 10,000 acre-feet annually, or directly diverting more than 30 cubic feet per second during June 1 through September 30)

Visit the Division of Water Rights’s Telemetry Requirements webpage for more information

  • January 1, 2020 – Annual Water Use Reports for the 2019 reporting year are available on the eWRIMS Report Management System (RMS)
  • April 1, 2020 – Deadline to report water use for 2019 under Licenses
  • July 1, 2020 – Deadline to report water use for 2019 under Statements of Water Diversion and Use

Submit your water use reports to the eWRIMS Report Management System (RMS)


The Watermaster is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administration of water rights, and, when necessary, for taking enforcement action, related to water diversions within the Delta. The Watermaster also confers with and assists both the Water Board and the Stewardship Council as they carry out their respective legislative mandates to achieve the dual objectives of enhancing the Delta ecosystem and improving water supply reliability within the constraints of the water rights system and of the Delta as an evolving place.

The Delta – The Hub of California’s Water Management System

The Delta is an inland estuary located at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers just before their outlet to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The Delta is comprised of a network of islands, channels and wetlands which make up the largest estuary on the Western Coast of the United States. The Delta is the hub of California’s water management system as well as an important ecological system supporting a variety of species, several of which are protected under endangered species acts. The Delta ecosystem and the water management facilities located there are under pressure from a variety of natural and man-made stressors including:

  • water diversions from its natural tributaries;
  • withdrawal of a portion of its water to meet the needs of users throughout the State;
  • invasive species which compete with or prey upon its endangered natives;
  • the constant risk of salinity intrusion from the Ocean and of salinity concentration by farming;
  • degradation in its water quality from historic causes such as hydraulic mining and current causes such as farm and urban runoff;
  • channelization of its waterways and the fragility of some of its levees;
  • oxidation and erosion of friable peat soils which have left some islands subsided below the surrounding water table;
  • complex (and sometimes conflicting) regulatory constraints; and
  • a clash of public and private interests that has generated decades of litigation and conflict.

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Delta Waterway
Photo credit: Department of Water Resources


For Questions or Comments
Contact the Office of the Delta Watermaster:

U.S. Mail:
Office of the Delta Watermaster
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100
Sacramento, CA 95812-0100


Kristi Matal
Communication and Outreach Specialist
Phone: 916-319-8264