Water Rights 101

Water Rights 101

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
It’s time for California Ag Today. On the Ag Information Network, I am Haylie Shipp.

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) here in California has announced the availability of two new fact sheets – “Water Rights 101” and “Water Use Reporting Requirements” – twith the at least partial intent of improving the understanding from water rightsholders as to their rights and their reporting requirements.

Here are the documents:

Water Rights 101: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/docs/2024/2024-04-22-fact-sheet-wr-101.pdf

Water Use Reporting Requirements: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/docs/2024/2024-04-22-fact-sheet-reporting.pdf

I’ve read through them. They are both informative as well as easy-to-digest. That isn’t always the case for government publications dealing with water rules.

The SWRCB used the release of the fact sheets as “a reminder to all water right holders to file water rights annual diversion data from water year 2023.” Reports for all diverters were due February 1, but the SWRCB notes that hundreds of people have yet to report.

From the “Water Use Reporting Requirements” document, anyone who diverts water from a stream, river, or lake must report to the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) every year by February 1st. This rule applies to everyone even if the amount of water is small and even if the stream is on your property.

In its announcement, the SWRCB asked delinquent filers to “please file immediately” and they are in the process of of issuing notices of violation to delinquent filers.

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