California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year  2019-20 

Key Functional Categories

What We Do and How We are Doing


The Water Boards enforce the pollution control and cleanup requirements that are established for discharges and contaminated sites. Where violations of regulatory requirements are detected, enforcement actions of varying types and levels of stringency are taken. For the most serious violations, penalties are often imposed. The Water Boards also collaborate with federal, State, and local law enforcement, as well as other environmental agencies, to address violations. In all cases, the principal goal of enforcement is to encourage compliance with requirements so that water quality is protected. more...

Fiscal Year  2019-20 
Statewide Overview of
Enforcement Actions and Penalties

Informal Enforcement Actions: 2,211
Compliance and Penalty Enforcement actions: 1,750
Penalties Assessed: Approximately $24 million

NPDES Wastewater: 259 $2,687,600
NPDES Stormwater: 2,904 $11,248,524
Waste Discharge to Land: 216 $921,800
Irrigated Lands: 299 $5,574,861
All Other Programs: 275 $3,545,819

Graph Data Reported

NPDES Mandatory Minimum Penalties (MMPs)

Take Enforcement Actions to Achieve Compliance - How do we Address Violations?

When assessing compliance with waste discharge and other requirements, the Water Boards document and track violations of the requirements in the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) database. Where violations occur, the Water Boards are responsible for taking swift and fair enforcement actions. The Water Boards' approach to enforcement for water quality protection is outlined in the State Water Board' Water Quality Enforcement Policy. This policy describes the framework for identifying and investigating instances of noncompliance, for taking enforcement actions that are appropriate in relation to the nature and severity of the violation, and for prioritizing enforcement resources to achieve maximum environmental benefit.