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State of California Water Diversions

Update from the SWRCB

The State Water Resources Control Board issued an update on water measurement requirements this month. If you currently divert between 10 and 100 acre-feet per year, the deadline to install measurement devices, implement a measurement method, or submit an alternative compliance plan is January 1, 2018. Certification of the measurement device(s) must be submitted when your next annual report is due April 1, 2018, for permits and licenses, and July 1, 2018, for statements. Any individual that is experienced with measurement and monitoring is qualified to install and certify measurement devices, measurement methods, and alternative compliance plans for diversions less than 100 acre-feet per year, and report this information to the State Water Board. This could be a rancher, farmer, or any small water system operator, including their employees, contractors, and other persons that have a relationship with the diverter and familiarity with the diversions.

There is no specific requirement to attend any particular class or obtain any particular certification. “A person trained and experienced” referred to in any form that must be submitted to the State Water Board for diversions between 10 and 100 acre-feet per year means the person using any equipment and reporting the information knows how to use the equipment and submit correct information. Thus, if your water right is for less than 100 acre-feet per year you may self-certify that you installed a measurement device. The accuracy of many measurement devices, such as in-line flow meters and weirs, is determined by the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s statement may be used to fill out the required form.

Forms for Measurement Methods, Alternative Compliance Plans, and Requests for Additional Time are available to file on the Water Right Form and Survey Submittal Portal.

Background:

Since its enactment on June 24, 2015, the State Water Board has been implementing the monitoring and reporting requirements established to comply with SB 88. Under the regulations adopted by the State Water Board on January 19, 2016 to implement SB 88, any person that diverts or stores more than 10 acre-feet of water per year, must install and maintain a device, or employ a method capable of measuring the rate of direct diversion or diversion to storage. The requirements have been phased in, with earlier implementation for larger diversions. Installation and certification of equipment and measurement of diversions of 1,000 acre-feet per year or more were required by January 1, 2017, and for diversions greater than 100 acre-feet per year, by July 1, 2017. For diversions of 100 acre-feet per year or more, the person that certifies the measurement method must be one of the following:

A California‐registered Professional Engineer

A person under the supervision of a California registered Professional Engineer

Licensed contractor for well drilling (C‐57) or limited specialty for machinery and pumps (C-61/D‐21)

Has completed an instructional course administered by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UC Extension), including passing a proficiency test on water diversion measurement devices or measurement methods (This option becomes effective on January 1, 2018. We anticipate that the UC Extension course will be available in the first half of 2018)

More information on water use reports and measurement is available at:

http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/diversion_use/water_use.shtml

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