California Water Boards

The California Water Boards are comprised of the five appointees to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Through a combination of policies, programs and funding, the Water Boards preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California’s water resources while overseeing their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations.  Prior to 2014, programs included Water Quality, Financial Assistance, and Water Rights. Effective July 1, 2014, responsibility for the state’s Drinking Water Program was transferred from the Department of Public Health to the SWRCB.  With this change, the Water Boards now oversee the state’s clean and drinking water resources.

The Water Boards’ Role in the Water-Energy Nexus

Water for Power

The Once-Through Cooling Water Policy adopted in 2010 and modified in 2014  requires applies to the 19 existing power plants that currently have the ability to withdraw over 15 billion gallons per day from the State’s coastal and estuarine waters using a single-pass system, also known as once-through cooling (OTC). Permittees must either reduce intake flow and velocity (Track 1) or reduce impacts to aquatic life comparably by other means (Track 2).

Power for Water

The Recycled Water Policy is comprised of multiple elements that are designed to work in concert to increase the use of recycled water from municipal wastewater sources to displace use of potable water for approved non-potable uses. Increasing production and use of recycled water will increase the state’s portfolio of reliable water supplies while concurrently reducing the energy and energy-related greenhouse gas intensity of the state’s water supply portfolio.