Basin Plan Program
Lahontan Basin Plan
View or download the current Basin Plan. (Note: Recently approved amendments to the Basin Plan that have not been incorporated into the main electronic text of the Basin Plan are available below in the section "Fully Approved Basin Plan Amendments")
Water quality standards and control measures for surface and ground waters of the Lahontan Region are contained in the Water Quality Control Plan for the Lahontan Region (Basin Plan). The plan designates beneficial uses for water bodies and establishes water quality objectives, waste discharge prohibitions, and other implementation measures to protect those beneficial uses. State water quality standards also include a Nondegradation Policy. Water quality control measures include Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), which are often, but not always, adopted as Basin Plan amendments. See the Lahontan Water Board’s TMDL Program web page for further information.
The Lahontan Basin plan took effect in 1995, replacing three earlier plans. The current edition of the plan includes fully approved sets of amendments adopted since 1995. Chapters and sections of the plan are available in separate files to facilitate downloading.
In addition to the state standards in the Basin Plan, federal water quality standards for certain toxic pollutants apply to surface waters within California, including the Lahontan Region. These standards are contained in the National Toxics Rule (40 CFR 131.36) and the California Toxics Rule (40 CFR 131.37). The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has adopted a statewide implementation policy for the federal toxics standards, including summary tables listing the standards themselves. The federal standards have not yet been physically incorporated into the Basin Plan.
The National Toxics Rule and California Toxics Rule standards differ from federal water quality criteria in that they are enforceable. Federal criteria are non-enforceable, science-based thresholds that can be used in development of enforceable state water quality standards.
A number of other statewide plans and policies contain water quality control measures that apply in addition to those in the Basin Plan. Some of these documents are included in the appendices to the Basin Plan, but others have not yet been physically incorporated into or referenced in the plan. These documents include the following:
- The NPS Program Implementation Plan and the NPS Implementation and Enforcement Policies are found on the NPS Plans and Policy page.
- 2017 Water Quality Enforcement Policy
Basin Plan Update Process
Basin Plan amendments are adopted following noticed public hearings. Public draft Basin Plan amendments and supporting documents (including California Environmental Quality Act substitute environmental documents) are made available for public review for at least 45 days before Water Board action. Written comments are generally requested to arrive by about 30 days before the Board action date to allow adequate time for preparation of written responses, and for full consideration of all comments and responses by the Water Board. Following approval by the Lahontan Water Board, Basin Plan amendments require further approvals by State Water Board, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL), and (in some cases) the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Plan amendments take effect following approval by the OAL.
Basin Plan Amendments Under Development
Water Board planning staff’s work usually includes several Basin Plan amendment topics that have not yet reached the public draft stage. Announcements of preliminary public stakeholder meetings, including California Environmental Quality Act scoping meetings for these topics will be posted under this heading.
Tribal and Subsistence Fishing Beneficial Uses
Fecal Bacteria Water Quality Objectives
Basin Plan Amendment Project
- Staff Report and Substitute Environmental Documentation (SED) - recirculated March 15, 2023
- Full text of Draft Basin Plan Amendment language - recirculated March 15, 2023
- Response To Comments for February 2022 Draft SED and Basin Plan Amendment Language - March 15, 2023
- Staff Report and Substitute Environmental Document (SED)
- Full text of Draft Proposed Basin Plan Amendment
- Board Packet for March 2022 Workshop
- Meeting recording for October 14, 2021 CEQA Scoping Meeting
- October 14, 2021 CEQA Scoping Meeting Presentation
- Octubre 14, 2021 Reunión de Alcance de CEQA Presentación
- Notice of Opportunity to Comment on revised Draft Bacteria Basin Plan Amendment and Staff Report - March 15, 2023
- Draft Proposed Basin Plan Amendment: Notice of Opportunity to Comment; Notice of Document Availability; Notice of filing; Notice of Public Workshop
- Notice of CEQA Scoping Meeting
- Aviso de Reunion de Alcance
- Board Packet for May 13th, 2021 Board information item
- Board Packet for January 13th, 2021 Board workshop
- August 5th 2020 Information Session meeting recording
- August 5th 2020 Information Session meeting notes
- August 2020 Slides for Public Information Session
- July 2020 Information Video Presentation (with audio)
- July 2020 Information Presentation (slides only, no audio)
- Bacteria Water Quality Objectives: Frequently Asked Questions
Evaluation Project Notices
- Project Lead: Daniel Sussman
Daniel.Sussman@waterboards.ca.gov / (530) 542-5466
- Dedicated Project Email Address:
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Adopted Amendments Pending Further Approvals
Basin Plan amendments that have been adopted by the Lahontan Water Board and are awaiting approval by one or more other agencies will be posted under this heading.
Fully Approved Basin Plan Amendments
After they receive all necessary approvals, final plan amendments will be archived in this section.
Triennial Review of the Basin Plan
The 2022 Triennial Review
- 2022 Triennial Review Final Resolution R6T-2022-0011 (March 10, 2022)
- 2022 Triennial Review Staff Report (February 8, 2022)
- 2022 Triennial Review List (February 8, 2022)
- 2022 Triennial Review Response to Comments (February 15, 2022)
- Public Hearing and Adoption Consideration Notice for 2022 Triennial Review (January 27, 2022)
- Notice to Comment on Draft 2022 Triennial Review Staff Report
- Draft 2022 Triennial Review Staff Report
- October 2021 Triennial Review Workshop Materials
- Notice of Triennial Review Workshop -
SeptemberPOSTPONED until October Board meeting due to the fires impacting Northern California.
The 2018 Triennial Review
- Resolution No. R6T-2018-0050 (Adopted 11/15/2018)
- November 2018 Hearing materials
- 2018 Triennial Review: Response to Comments
- Proposed 2018 Triennial Review Staff Report and Project List
- Public Hearing and Adoption Consideration Notice for 2018 Triennial Review
- September Board item Materials
- September Board Presentation Slides
- 2018 Triennial Review - Notice of Extended Public Comment Period and Revised Draft Project List
- Revised Draft Project List - Prioritized
- July Board Item Materials
- July Board Presentation Slides
- DRAFT Staff Report and materials for July 2018 Scoping Workshop - Updated 6/30/18
- Notice of 2018 Triennial Review Workshops - July and September
The 2015 Triennial Review is Water Board staff's recommendations on future planning priorities in the next three years. The Water Board adopted these recommendations during the November 4, 2015 Board Meeting in Barstow.
- Final 2015 Triennial Review Priority List (as an attachment to the resolution adopting the list)
- November 4, 2015 Public Hearing for the 2015 Triennial Review
The 2012 Triennial Review December Staff Report is Water Board staff’s recommendations on future planning priorities in the next three years. The Water Board adopted these recommendations during the January 17, 2013 Board meeting in Barstow.
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If you have questions about the content of the Basin Plan or the amendment process, please contact:
Telephone: (530) 542-5466