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“To preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California's water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and all beneficial uses, and to ensure proper water resource allocation and efficient use, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) was created by the Legislature in 1967. The joint authority of water allocation and water quality protection enables the State Water Board to provide comprehensive protection for California’s waters.
The State Water Board consists of five full-time salaried members, each filling a different specialty position. Board members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). The mission of the Regional Boards is to develop and enforce water quality objectives and implementation plans that will best protect the State's waters, recognizing local differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology.
Each Regional Board has seven part-time members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Regional Boards develop “basin plans” for their hydrologic areas, issue waste discharge requirements, take enforcement action against violators, and monitor water quality.
The task of protecting and enforcing the many uses of water, including the needs of industry, agriculture, municipal districts, and the environment is an ongoing challenge for the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards.