There are nine regional water quality control boards statewide.
The nine Regional Boards are semi-autonomous and are comprised of seven part-time Board members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Regional boundaries are based on watersheds and water quality requirements are based on the unique differences in climate, topography, geology and hydrology for each watershed. Each Regional Board makes critical water quality decisions for its region, including setting standards, issuing waste discharge requirements, determining compliance with those requirements, and taking appropriate enforcement actions.
Marc Reisner (1948-2000), an environmental writer who became a celebrity in the water world, was the author of Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (1986), a best-seller about Western water history and politics and a full-blown critique of 20th century water development, especially in California and the West. “Based on 10 years of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, provocative history of the creation of an Eden — an Eden that may be only a mirage,” according to the book’s back flap.
Remote sensing technology brings greater information and detail about things such as levee integrity, microclimate conditions in a farm field and the depth of the Sierra Nevada snowpack. If not from satellite cameras, the imagery is often relayed through high-flying aircraft.
Surface water is water found in rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. There are a limited number of instances in which water in a defined underground channel is classified as surface water. There are several types of water rights that apply to surface water.
A landowner whose property borders a river has a right to use water from that river on his land. This is called riparian rights.
Ronald B. Robie, an associate justice on the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, has made his mark on state water issues during a career in public service that has spanned all three branches of government.
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the 26th president of the United States who established the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and created the U.S. Forest Service.
During his term of office from 1901-1909, he is credited for his efforts on conservation, increasing the number of national forests, protecting land for the public and promoting irrigation projects. For Roosevelt, water was instrumental to developing the Western states.