California. State Water Quality Control Board

Variant names

Hide Profile

Agency History

Established in 1949 ( Stats. 1949, ch. 1551, p. 2793) in response to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the State Water Pollution Control Board coordinates the actions of the various state agencies involved in the regulation and monitoring of water pollution, formulates state-wide water quality control policy, allocates appropriated funds to the regional boards, and initiates and manages scientific research and technical programs to establish appropriate water quality policies.

In 1962 the Board was placed under the jurisdiction of the Resources Agency. The name of the Board changed the following year to the State Water Quality Control Board, reflecting a change in the perspective of the Board members and the Resources Agency toward the need for a comprehensive approach to water pollution and water contamination. In 1964 the Board was appointed the administrative agent of the federal construction grants program (Public Law 84-660) for the state of California, beginning a long-standing relationship with the federal government. The scope of the Board's responsibilities was broadened in 1967 ( Stats. 1967, ch. 1446, p. 3366) to include the establishment of an interagency system for the control of water discharge. Later that same year the State Water Rights Board and the State Water Quality Control Board merged into a new board titled the State Water Resources Control Board. The main responsibilities of the newly created board were divided into three main areas: 1) water rights, 2) water quality, and 3) planning and research.

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act ( Stats. 1969, ch. 482, p. 1045) substantially increased the authority and scope of the state and regional boards, strengthening the board's regulatory capacity and funding, as well as providing for the creation of comprehensive water quality control plans in each of the nine regions. These plans were completed in 1975. With the implementation of the Porter-Cologne Act, the Water Quality Control Board expanded its definition of the beneficial uses of water to include long-term conservation and environmental protection.

The State Water Quality Control Board is administered by 4 to 6 appointed members and their contracted consultants. The Board creates state water quality policy and oversees an ongoing research and technical development program. Nine regional boards are governed by the state board. Listed by region name and number they are: 1) North Coast, 2) San Francisco Bay, 3) Central Coast, 4) Los Angeles, 5) Central Valley, 6) Lahontan, 7) Colorado River Basin, 8) Santa Ana and 9) San Diego. The regions conform to the sixteen major watershed basins found in the state. The main responsibility of the regional boards is the implementation of the state's water quality control policies through the formation of water quality control plans and the establishment and enforcement of water discharge requirements.

From the guide to the Water Quality Control Board Records, (California State Archives)

Relation Name
associatedWith Bacon, Vinton W. person
associatedWith Warne, William E. person
Place Name Admin Code Country

Corporate Body



Ark ID: w6g78q5j

SNAC ID: 27477241