Permit Time Extensions


This section describes the time extension petition process for water right permits. Appropriative water rights are defined by the amounts of water put to beneficial use.  A permit is an authorization to start diverting and putting water to beneficial use, thereby developing a water right.  Permits contain deadlines for beginning construction work, completion of construction work, and application of water to beneficial use. Once permit deadlines have expired, or upon permittee request, use of the permit is evaluated in a process called licensing.  A water right license will contain the amounts diverted and put to use during the permit development period.  Diversion or use authorized during issuance of a permit that has not yet been developed may be subject to revocation if a time extension is not approved.

In cases where the deadlines in a permit have passed, referred to as an "expired permit", the permit can still be used as an authorization to divert water.  However, only the amounts, including storage amounts, diversion rates, and amounts put to beneficial use, prior to the permit deadlines can be diverted and used under the permit.  Use of a permit cannot be expanded after the permit deadlines, and any expanded use will not be included as part of the licensing process.  A time extension petition changes the permit development deadlines.

  Submit your application to file a Petition for Permit Time Extension.

  Steps and Requirements

To change their water right, the petitioner must follow these steps:

  1. Submit a Petition. The process is initiated when a time extension petition is filed by right holder. This petition describes how long of a time extension the party is seeking and the reason for the delay in the development of the project.
  2. Review of the Petition Form. The Board notifies the petitioner shortly after receipt (typically within 30 days) if the petition is incomplete.
  3. Environmental Review. Consideration of environmental effects is required by the California Environmental Quality Act before a time extension can be approved. The Board examines the proposed project's potential environmental impacts and determines whether mitigation measures will be needed. In addition to any obligation the State Water Board may have under the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Water Board has an independent obligation to consider the effect of the proposed project on public trust resources and to protect those resources where feasible. In certain circumstances, a supplement or addendum to the CEQA analysis originally conducted for the application for the permit may be used, while in other circumstances a new CEQA document may be necessary to evaluate the incremental increase in diversions that will result from the time extension approval.
  4. Public Notice and Protest Resolution. If appropriate, the State Water Board will require the petitioner to publish notice of the right holder's request for an extension of time; see 23 CCR § 843. The State Water Board will consider any protests that have been filed. If both parties can agree to mutually acceptable conditions, the protest is resolved. For small projects, in the event a protest is not resolved the issue may be addressed by the Division of Water Rights through a field investigation. For appeals from the report and for large projects (greater than 200 acre-feet or three cfs), a hearing must be held. 
  5. Hydrologic Analysis. Before granting a time extension, the State Board evaluates the additional diversions or use of water that will result from approval. The analysis is typically performed by an engineering consultant retained by the petitioner. Occasionally, the petitioner or Board staff may perform the analysis.  Analyzing the effects of approving the time extension likely requires determining how much water has been diverted and used prior to the permit deadlines and comparing amounts to the proposed further development of the permit.
  6. Compliance with Applicable Policies. Projects located in certain geographic areas are required to comply with applicable State Board Policies relevant to processing of a time extension petition. The Policy for Maintaining Instream Flows in Northern California Coastal Streams (Policy) applies to projects located in Marin, Sonoma, and portions of Napa, Mendocino, and Humboldt Counties. Petitions for projects in this area may be subject to special requirements including hydrologic analysis.  Please refer to section 3.3.2 of the Policy for its applicability to petitions.

During the review process and before issuance, the Board will be looking for several requirements regarding the petition. These requirements are provided by 23 CCR § 844.

  • Due diligence has been exercised by the petitioner,
  • Failure to comply with previous time requirements has been occasioned by obstacles which could not reasonably be avoided, Satisfactory progress will be made if the time extension is granted; and that
  • Approval of the petition is in the public interest. If the Board determines otherwise, conditions may be imposed to ensure the criteria are satisfied or the petition may be denied.

  Time Extension Notices and Orders

Below you will find a table containing the Time Extension Notices and Orders.

  1. To narrow the list, enter search criteria in the search box below. Please note: Search is case insensitive, alphanumeric, and allows up to 20 characters.
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Application ID Water Right Holder Requested Extension Notice
Protest Deadline
22551 City of Yreka December 31, 2043 2024/02/09 2024/03/11  
A031257 Occidental Community Services District December 31, 2031 2023/03/10 2023/04/10  
A030337 South Coast Water District December 31, 2037 2022/10/13 2022/11/14  
A031741 South Coast Water District December 31, 2029 2022/10/13 2022/11/14  

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  • Water Rights General Phone Line: (916) 341-5300