Electronic Annual Report (eAR)

The electronic Annual Report (eAR) is a survey of public water systems, currently required annually, to collect critical water system information intended to assess the status of compliance with specific regulatory requirements such as source water capacity, provides updated contact and inventory information (such as population and number of service connections), and provides information that is used to assess the financial capacity of water systems, among other information reported. The areas for which information is required to be reported is listed in Table 2.

Table 1: eAR Schedule

2021 EAR Schedule

(Applies to all public water systems)
2021 EAR Release Date: March 21, 2022
2021 EAR Submission Deadline: May 21, 2022
2021 EAR Technical Assistance Request Deadline: April 11, 2022

Table2: EAR Survey Sections

Section Number/Name Section Description

Section 1. Introduction

Provides water system information (e.g., System Number, Name, Classification, Ownership, assigned Regulating Agency) and physical location; Reporter starting EAR contact information; Disadvantaged (DAC) status request or recertification for reduced annual fees

Section 2. Contacts

Maintain name, title, address, phone and email for various point of contact types

Section 3. Population

Update population and annual operating period

Section 4. Connections

Update service connection counts by types and metering status; Urban Water Supplier (UWS) outdoor irrigation connections or indoor submeters

Section 5. Sources

Large Water System (LWS) source counts or Small Water System (SWS) source list by type (SWS and NC); Standby Source activity; Interties; Source Metering and Levels Monitoring

Section 6. Water Supplied and Delivered

Streamlined Reporting; volume of potable water produced, purchased, sold, or transferred; Max day and volumes by type; Volume produced of non-potable produced, sold, or recycled water; Volume delivered to metered service connections or intertied water systems; Volumes are reported by month and type

Section 7. Recycled Water

Recycled Water (RW) number of use sites, RW Coordinator name; Pressure tests, and on-site supervision status

Section 8a. Customer Charges

Residential and non-residential customer charges, rate structures, and other service fees borne by customers to support the water system.

Section 8b. Income

Annual revenues and incurred expenses. This information is used to assess the financial resiliency of water systems.

Section 8c. Water Affordability

Information, if any, on customer assistance programs designed to address customer affordability challenges.

Section 9. Water Quality

Bacteriological Sample Siting Plan (BSSP) status; Emergency Notification Plan (WQENP) status; List of Direct additives; NSF/ANSI standard 61 certification for Indirect Additives; Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) and Cert. status

Section 10. Backflow

Status of testing and surveying backflow prevention assemblies; Cross Connection Control Program Coordinator name

Section 11. Operator Certification

Distribution System (DS) Operator compliance; Treatment Plant (TP) Operator compliance; subsections including grid of operators with their certification number and expiration date.

Section 12. Improvements

Improvements and modifications to treatment or distribution system completed in 2020 or planned for 2021

Section 13. Complaints

Summary of complaints reported by customers, investigated by Water System, and reported to DDW or LPAs; Complaint Descriptions by Type

Section 14. Treatment

Lists of groundwater and surface water treatment plants, excluding chlorination only, treatment process, date of operations plan, and contaminant removed; grouped chlorinating only treatment plant operations plan compliance; Emergency Disinfection Plan and Watershed Sanitary Survey status.

Section 15. Distribution

Summaries of system problems; infrastructure and pipeline materials; dead-end flushing; flushing volumes; valve exercise program; storage tanks or reservoir inspection and cleaning program status.

Section 16. Emergency

Auxiliary Power Supply; Ability to meet continuous power supply and funding gaps or schedule; Emergency Response Plans (ERP); interest in water partnerships or consolidation.

Section 17. Conservation (Updated)

Drought Preparedness or Water Shortage Contingency Plan; Water Shortage Reporting; Urban Water Supplier (UWS) Conservation Program information; Potable reuse incentive.

Section 18. Climate Change

Climate Threats, Sensitivity, and Magnitude of Impacts; Adaptation Measures

Acknowledge and Finalize

Reporter(s) eAR error report; Report Disclosure; Number of Hours; Reporter submittingeAR contact information.

History of the Annual Report

The “Annual Report to the Drinking Water Program” was started in the mid-1980’s as a hard copy report submitted to the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) district offices. The DDW field staff and local primacy agencies (LPAs) require the annual report per Section 116530 Health & Safety Code and have used this information in the conduct of sanitary surveys of public water systems. In 2009, the Annual Report moved online where it was dubbed the electronic Annual Report (eAR). There wasa Large Water System and Small Water System survey, based on system size at the cutoff of 1,000 service connections or 3,300 population. The next 11 years, eAR’s were developed for release to public water systems and field office staff tasked for review. In 2020, the Water Board redeveloped the eAR onto a new reporting platform offering advancements in customization and performance.

eAR Stakeholders

In addition to the Division of Drinking Water field staff and County LPA representatives, the eAR serves as a platform for information gathering from public water systems to the Water Board.

Drivers of eAR data:

Drought Planning for small water suppliers and rural communities under SB 552

eAR Data

The data compiled from the eAR is published for the years 2013 to present and can be found here.  Beginning with 2021 reporting year data, each new reporting year, data collected from public water systems with survey status marked complete will be published within 90 days of the close of the reporting period. Data from 2009 to 2012 is not available in a format that can be reconciled with the 2013-present data, so is not currently available on the eAR website.

eAR Input Forum

In 2018 the eAR Input Forum was formed to inform the Water Board on the impact of changes to the eAR on public water system business practices, data availability and data quality. This group is made up of public water systems, water industry organization and non-governmental organization representatives. The Water Board engages the eAR Input Forum annually to review proposed changes to the eAR and solicit feedback on the structure of questions to ensure meaningful and accurate data is gathered.

For the 2021 eAR survey development, the Water Board hosted a meeting with the eAR Input Forum in September 2021. Comments from the eAR Input Forum on the proposed changes to the 2021 eAR survey were received following the September 2021 meeting. The comments from each entity have been compiled and Water Board responses as to the feasibility of implementing any proposed changes have been provided in the document linked below.

Table 2: 2021 eAR Input Forum Comments/Responses

2021 eAR Commenters Link to Comments/Responses

East Bay Municipal Utility District
California Department of Water Resources
San Juan Water District
Mesa Water District
Association of California Water Agencies
California Municipal Utilities Association
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
California Water Association

Comments and Water Board Responses