Criteria for Prioritization of the Processing of Applications to Appropriate Water and Change Petitions
- The proposed application or petition is for a project of regional or statewide significance.
- The proposed application or petition is for a project that assists a community in obtaining safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes, or for a project that will substantially address a regional chronic shortage of water for beneficial uses other than use for human consumption, cooking, and sanitation.
- The proposed application or petition is for a project that addresses critical aquifer overdraft or subsidence, or other undesirable results identified by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
- The applicant or petitioner has provided documentation showing the application or petition will enhance conditions for fish and wildlife2. This may include reductions in riparian use and/or diversions under another valid basis of right as a result of application/petition approval, if relevant; 2.
- The proposed application or petition is for a completely unbuilt project or change and the applicant or petitioner is following procedures and complying with laws and regulations.
- The project has pending state, federal, or philanthropic non-profit funding for which an agreement cannot be executed without first completing the water right application or petition.
- A project that is urgent and temporary in nature, such as a temporary transfer petition, a temporary urgency change or a temporary permit.
- Any other project that is adjacent or related to another high priority project in a watershed where the water right processing can be grouped, including where groups of applicants or petitioners, on their own initiative, coordinate development of technical information.
Applicant’s Demonstrated Progress Criteria
- The applicant or petitioner has consulted with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and other agencies with permitting or jurisdictional authority, and the Division has documentation of the agencies’ approval or support for the proposed application or petition.
- The proposed application or petition is consistent with the principles of the Policy for Maintaining Instream Flows in Northern California Coastal Streams 1.
- Review under the California Environmental Quality Act is substantially completed and the applicant or petitioner has agreed to proposed mitigation measures or project modifications.
- The applicant or petitioner has complied with deadlines established by the Division.
- Protests have been resolved or negotiations are substantially underway.
1Applies to water right applications when the Division has approved a water availability analysis pursuant to Water Code section 1375, subdivision (d) that takes into account the face value demand of all known senior diversions, including senior pending water rights and is consistent with the Policy for Maintaining Instream Flows in Northern California Coastal Streams.
2Applies to water right petitions when the petitioner has requested changes including enhancements for fish and wildlife such as 1) removal of an artificial barrier to the migration of anadromous fish; 2) replacement of onstream storage with offstream storage; 3) relocation of a point of diversion to reduce impacts to aquatic resources; 4) changes to frost protection practices undertaken pursuant to an existing water right that improve habitat for aquatic resources (which could include moving a point of diversion, adding or expanding storage in order to reduce instantaneous demand during frost events, improving efficiency, or implementing alternative frost protection techniques); and 5) other activities that have the effect of creating fish and wildlife habitat with improved streamflows.