Citizens Guide to Working with California State Water Boards

Under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and California's pioneering Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, the State and Regional Water Boards have regulatory responsibility for protecting the water quality of nearly 1.6 million acres of lakes, 1.3 million acres of bays and estuaries, 211,000 miles of rivers and streams, and about 1,100 miles of exquisite California coastline.

The Guide provides an overview of the Water Boards and the many opportunities that all Californians have to participate with the Water Boards in decisions and activities that affect the state’s water resources. While some of the public participation opportunities are formal, e.g., at a Water Board hearing, others are less formal, but just as important, e.g., a stakeholder process implemented by a Regional Board. Although the Guide doesn’t contain information about specific water quality decisions that are before the Boards, it will direct you where you can find that information. We look forward to updating this Guide periodically to assure its continuing usefulness to you, the public.

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