Role of the Delta Watermaster

Water Code Section 85230 -

85230. (a) The board, in consultation with the council, shall appoint, for a term of four years, a special master for the Delta, whose title shall be "the Delta Watermaster."

            (b) The board shall adopt internal procedures delegating authority to the Delta Watermaster. The Delta Watermaster shall exercise the board's authority to provide timely monitoring and enforcement of board orders and license and permit termsand conditions. The Delta Watermaster's delegated authority shall include authority to require monitoring and reporting, authority for approvals delegated to an officer or employee of the board by the terms of a water right permit or license, authority to approve temporary urgency changes pursuant to Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 1435) of Part 2 of Division 2, and authority to issue a notice of proposed cease and desist order or administrative civil liability complaint. The Delta Watermaster's authority shall be limited to diversions in the Delta, and for the monitoring and enforcement of the board's orders and license and permit terms and conditions that apply to conditions in the Delta.

            (c) The internal procedures adopted by the board shall provide for due process in adjudicative proceedings, and may establish procedures for the issuance of a stay of any order or decision of the Delta Watermaster for which a petition for reconsideration is filed or reconsideration is ordered under Section 1122. The board may provide any additional duties or needs of the Delta Watermaster that the board deems necessary for effective day-to-day enforcement of its decisions.

            (d) The Delta Watermaster shall submit regular reports to the board and the council including, but not limited to, reports on water rights administration, water quality issues, and conveyance operations.


Delegation of Authority to the Delta Watermaster - Revised Resolution No. 2018-0037


Role of the Delta Watermaster

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. 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.

Role of State Water Resources Control Board

Pursuant to WC §85230, the State Water Resources Control Board appoints the Delta Watermaster to a four-year term and delegates authority to monitor and report and enforce Board Orders and permit and license terms and conditions for water right claims in the Delta.  The statute also empowers the Delta Watermaster to take enforcement against unlawful diversions in the Delta and to submit reports on specified water issues.

The State Water Board appointed the first Delta Watermaster (Craig Wilson) in 2010. Michael George is the current Delta Watermaster, appointed in 2015.

Role of Delta Stewardship Council

The Watermaster reports jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council. The Council adopts and periodically updates the Delta Plan, a comprehensive, long-term management plan for the Delta. The Council also has statutory authority to require that major activities proposed and carried out within the Delta be consistent with the Delta Plan. The Watermaster confers with and assists the Council in carrying out the co-equal goals of assuring a more reliable water supply and of protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem, all in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.

Role of the Delta Protection Commission

Role of the Delta Conservancy

Roles of the Delta Water Agencies