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Delta Watermaster Overview

Role of the Delta Watermaster

 


Water Code Section 85230 -

85230. (a) The board, in consultation with the council, shall appoint, for a term of four years, a special master for the Delta, whose title shall be "the Delta Watermaster."

            (b) The board shall adopt internal procedures delegating authority to the Delta Watermaster. The Delta Watermaster shall exercise the board's authority to provide timely monitoring and enforcement of board orders and license and permit termsand conditions. The Delta Watermaster's delegated authority shall include authority to require monitoring and reporting, authority for approvals delegated to an officer or employee of the board by the terms of a water right permit or license, authority to approve temporary urgency changes pursuant to Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 1435) of Part 2 of Division 2, and authority to issue a notice of proposed cease and desist order or administrative civil liability complaint. The Delta Watermaster's authority shall be limited to diversions in the Delta, and for the monitoring and enforcement of the board's orders and license and permit terms and conditions that apply to conditions in the Delta.

            (c) The internal procedures adopted by the board shall provide for due process in adjudicative proceedings, and may establish procedures for the issuance of a stay of any order or decision of the Delta Watermaster for which a petition for reconsideration is filed or reconsideration is ordered under Section 1122. The board may provide any additional duties or needs of the Delta Watermaster that the board deems necessary for effective day-to-day enforcement of its decisions.

            (d) The Delta Watermaster shall submit regular reports to the board and the council including, but not limited to, reports on water rights administration, water quality issues, and conveyance operations.

 

Resolution 2015-0058

DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO THE DELTA WATERMASTER

WHEREAS:

  1. Pursuant to Water Code section 85230 subdivision (a), the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) appoints a special master for the Delta, whose title is “the Delta Watermaster.”
  2. Pursuant to Water Code section 7, the Board is empowered to delegate authority to authorized persons.
  3. Water Code section 85230 subdivision (b) provides that the Delta Watermaster shall exercise specified delegated authorities.
  4. Water Code Section 85230 subdivision (b) states that the Delta Watermaster’s authority shall be limited to diversions in the Delta, and for the monitoring and enforcement of Board orders and license and permit terms and conditions that apply to conditions in the Delta.
  5. Water Code section 85230 subdivision (c) provides that the Board may delegate additional duties to the Delta Watermaster as necessary for effective day-to-day enforcement of its decisions.
  6. Water Code section 1051 authorizes the Board to investigate streams, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  7. Government Code section 11415.50 states that an adjudicative proceeding is not required for informal fact-finding, an informal investigatory hearing, or a decision to initiate or not initiate an adjudicatory proceeding.
  8. Government Code section 11415.60 authorizes the Board to delegate the power to formulate and issue decisions by settlement.
  9. On October 5, 2010, the Board adopted Resolution No. 2010-0048 delegating authority to the Delta Watermaster.
  10. On October 3, 2012, the Board adopted Resolution No. 2012-0048 making specified changes in the delegation of authority to the Delta Watermaster.
  11. Both Resolution No. 2010-0048 and Resolution No. 2012-0048 provide that the delegation will be brought back before the Board within two years for reconsideration of its terms.
  12. Upon reconsideration, the Board finds that It is appropriate to further modify the terms of the delegation by making the delegation evergreen, subject to the Board’s prerogative to reconsider its terms on its own motion or at the request of the Delta Watermaster.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

  1. The Board delegates to the Delta Watermaster the following duties related to water diversion within the Delta and the monitoring and enforcement of Board orders and license and permit terms and conditions that apply to conditions in the Delta, as defined in Water Code section 12220:

  2. 1.1 Require monitoring and reporting by holders of Board-issued water right permits or licenses. This authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or other appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights.

    1.2 Issue approvals delegated to an officer or employee of the Board by the terms of water right permits or licenses. This authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or other appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights.

    1.3 Require monitoring and reporting by persons filing statements of water diversion and use pursuant to Water Code sections 5100-5107. This authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or other appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights.

    1.4 Act on petitions or requests to approve or renew temporary permits pursuant to Chapter 6.5 (commencing with section 1425) or temporary urgency changes pursuant to chapter 6.6 (commencing with section 1435) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Water Code. If no objections to an application for a temporary permit or a petition for a temporary urgency change are received, this authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights. This delegation includes the authority to:

    1.4.1 Hold a hearing on any applications, or petition or request for renewal made pursuant to Chapter 6.5 or 6.6.

    1.4.2 Make the findings required by Chapter 6.5 or 6.6 as conditions precedent to the issuance or renewal of a temporary permit or temporary change order.

    1.4.3 Make any findings required by CEQA as conditions precedent to the issuance or renewal of a temporary change order.

    1.5 At the preadjudicative stage, conduct informal fact-finding or informal investigatory hearings regarding alleged unlawful diversions of water, violations of water right permits or licenses, violations involving statements of water diversion and use, or waste and unreasonable use.

    1.6 Issue notices of proposed cease and desist orders, and, when a hearing has not been timely requested, issue cease and desist orders in accordance with Water Code section 1831 et seq. This authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights.

    1.7 Issue proposed administrative civil liability complaints, and, when a hearing has not been requested, issue an order imposing administrative civil liability in accordance with Water Code section 1055 et seq. This authority may be re-delegated to the Deputy Director for Water Rights or appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights.

    1.8 Convene settlement conferences up until the time a formal adjudication has commenced by the noticing of a hearing.

    1.9 Formulate and issue decisions by settlement under Government Code section 11415.60 in matters raised by investigations or complaints, or where notices of proposed cease and desist orders or administrative civil liability have been issued but a hearing has not been noticed.

    1.10 Request the Attorney General to institute appropriate proceedings in the superior court in accordance with Water Code section 1052 (unlawful diversions) or Water Code section 1845 (violation of cease and desist orders).

  3. Adjudicative orders and decisions issued by the Delta Watermaster, including but not limited to decisions by settlement, are subject to reconsideration by the Board pursuant to Water Code section 1122 et seq.
  4. The enumeration of delegated authorities in this resolution shall not be interpreted as revoking authorities already delegated, except as specified below. This resolution augments Resolution No. 2012-0029, Delegation of Authority to State Water Resources Control Board Members Individually and to the Deputy Director for Water Rights, and supersedes it only to the extent of any inconsistency. Specifically, the delegation to the Deputy Director to issue notices of proposed cease and desist orders and administrative civil liability complaints is revoked as applied to diversions in the Delta and enforcement of Board orders and license and permit terms and conditions that apply to conditions in the Delta, except to the extent the Delta Watermaster expressly authorizes the Deputy Director for Water Rights or appropriate staff within the Division of Water Rights to proceed.

  5. This resolution supersedes Resolution No. 2012-0048.
  6. his resolution will remain in effect until withdrawn or superseded by action of the Board.

 

Role of the Delta Watermaster

The Office of the Delta Watermaster was created as part of the Delta Reform Act of 2009. The Watermaster is an independent officer of the State, appointed to a four-year term by the State Water Resources Control Board, reporting jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council. The Watermaster is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administration of water rights, and, when necessary, for taking enforcement action, related to water diversions within the Delta. The Watermaster also confers with and assists both the Water Board and the Stewardship Council as they carry out their respective legislative mandates to achieve the dual objectives of enhancing the Delta ecosystem and improving water supply reliability within the constraints of the water rights system and of the Delta as an evolving place.

Role of State Water Resources Control Board

Pursuant to WC §85230, the State Water Resources Control Board appoints the Delta Watermaster to a four-year term and delegates authority to monitor and report and enforce Board Orders and permit and license terms and conditions for water right claims in the Delta.  The statute also empowers the Delta Watermaster to take enforcement against unlawful diversions in the Delta and to submit reports on specified water issues.

The State Water Board appointed the first Delta Watermaster (Craig Wilson) in 2010. Michael George is the current Delta Watermaster, appointed in 2015.

Role of Delta Stewardship Council

The Watermaster reports jointly to the Water Board and to the Delta Stewardship Council. The Council adopts and periodically updates the Delta Plan, a comprehensive, long-term management plan for the Delta. The Council also has statutory authority to require that major activities proposed and carried out within the Delta be consistent with the Delta Plan. The Watermaster confers with and assists the Council in carrying out the co-equal goals of assuring a more reliable water supply and of protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem, all in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.

Role of the Delta Protection Commission


Role of the Delta Conservancy


Roles of the Delta Water Agencies