Public Meetings on New Water Measurement Law

To All,

WOW! This could prove to be beneficial for efforts to improve flows.


The purpose of this message is to provide information about a new water measurement law which will affect water right holders and diverters who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year.   The law includes a new reporting requirement that all diverters submit their monthly diversion records each year.  During drier than normal periods, all diverters may also be required to submit their diversion records on a monthly basis.

The new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2016, and are found in Senate Bill 88, Chapter 27, which was signed by the Governor in June.  Use this link to view the law:

The State Water Board is authorized to adopt an emergency regulation to implement these new requirements.  You can participate in the development of the regulation by emailing your comments to, or attending one of the public outreach and information meetings (see list below).

The Current Problem:
The extended drought has highlighted the need for current, accurate information on how much water is required to serve right holders in the various watersheds throughout the State.  Even during years with more normal precipitation, rainfall and snow accumulation patterns vary widely across the State.  Water supply may be adequate in one region while a critical water shortage can occur in another region.

Accurate data on water diversion and use is needed on a timely basis in order to evaluate water supply conditions in each watershed, how far water supplies can be expected to stretch, and whether there is water available for diversions.   Unfortunately, the historic reporting standard does not meet current needs.  The new law and proposed implementing regulation are expected to address this problem.

Benefits of Measurement and Reporting:
The State Water Board is the agency with primary responsibility for the administration and regulation of water rights in California.  The State Water Board allocates surface water through a system of permits, licenses, and registrations.  These allow the right holder to divert water for reasonable beneficial use.  The State Water Board also maintains records of water use under riparian and pre-1914 claims of right.

Improved measurement and reporting of water rights as required by Senate Bill 88 will allow the State Water Board and all water users to more effectively:
·         Increase understanding of water use through more accurate measurement;
·         Improve water rights administration and transparency of records;
·         Provide more accurate data on available water supplies;
·         Improve forecasting of water demand;
·         Assure compliance with the quantity and season limitations of existing water rights;
·         Protect senior rights in accordance with priorities; and
·         Provide efficient management and use of water during times of shortage.

Information Meetings for the Emergency Regulation*:
The following meetings are scheduled to take public comments on the new measurement and reporting requirements.  The comments will be used to help formulate the regulation.

November 2, 2015 (Monday)
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Junipero Serra State Office Building, Carmel Room
320 West 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA  90013

November 4, 2015 (Wednesday) 6:00 – 9:00 pm                                                                      City of Redding
777 Cypress Avenue, Redding, CA  96001

November 5, 2015 (Thursday) 6:00 – 9:00 pm
State Office Building, Auditorium
31 East Channel Street, Stockton  95202

November 9, 2015 (Monday) 1:00 – 4:00 pm                                                                       CalEPA Headquarters Building, Coastal Hearing Room
1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA  95812
A webcast of the meeting on November 9 in Sacramento will be available at

November 12, 2015 (Thursday) 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Steele Lane Community Center
415 Steele Lane, Santa Rosa, CA  95403