Water Rights Enforcement

The State Water Board enforces the water rights priority system. This includes taking actions against unauthorized diversions, diversions that adversely impact fish and wildlife, violations of curtailment orders, and more. We regularly update this webpage as key enforcement actions are taken.

Current Focus

After the driest January, February and March on record, most of California is experiencing a severe drought. Because of this, we are focusing our water rights enforcement activities in the six critical watersheds where the Board has issued curtailment orders. Regularly monitoring conditions and taking enforcement actions when necessary are critical for protecting more senior water right holders and the fishery resources that the curtailment orders were designed to protect.

Scott & Shasta River Watersheds

Critically low flow conditions in the Scott & Shasta River watersheds are threatening crucial sources of water for Siskiyou County’s economic, ecological, and cultural needs. In response, the State Water Board has issued curtailment orders and has been investigating more than 40 related water right complaints for the past several months. The investigations are resulting in various enforcement actions, including Notices of Violation, which are regularly updated in the following table:

Water Right Holder Notice of Violation
Bruce and Lisa Walker September 22, 2022
Jenner Cattle Company September 9, 2022
Edson Foulke Yreka Ditch Company September 8, 2022
Farmers Ditch Company September 8, 2022
David Collenberg September 2, 2022
4T Ranch LLC August 29, 2022
Murphy Donald D and Sandra K Trust August 29, 2022
Shasta River Water Association, Inc. August 18, 2022
Roy Johnson August 10, 2022
Lance Batistich August 10, 2022
Caven Crawford July 25, 2022

Additional Information

  For questions about enforcement actions in the Scott River or Shasta River watersheds, please email DWR-SiskiyouEnforcement@waterboards.ca.gov.

Enforcement Actions

In all cases, the primary goal of water rights enforcement is to encourage compliance with the water rights system. Enforcement actions can range from Notices of Violation to Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) and Administrative Civil Liabilities (ACLs).

We issue enforcement actions based on the outcomes of water right complaint and curtailment order violation investigations. Because each enforcement case has unique technical and legal aspects, some cases can take longer to complete than others.

  To view Water Rights Cease and Desist Orders, please visit the Water Rights CDO webpage.

  To view Water Rights Administrative Civil Liabilities, please visit the Water Rights ACL webpage.

Water Right Complaints

We rely on the public to help identify potential water right violations through the CalEPA Environmental Complaint website. We take water right complaints and the resulting investigations very seriously.

  For more information on the Water Right Complaint Process, please visit the Water Rights Enforcement Complaints webpage.

  To file a water right complaint, please visit the CalEPA Environmental Complaint website.

Additional Water Rights Enforcement Resources