State Water Resources Control Board Privacy Policy

The State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Water Boards) are committed to promoting and protecting the privacy rights of individuals as enumerated in Article 1 of the California Constitution, the Information Practices Act of 1977, and other state and federal laws.

It is the policy of the Water Boards to limit the collection of personally identifiable information and to safeguard the privacy of personally identifiable information collected or maintained by the Water Boards. The Water Boards information management practices are governed by the requirements of the Information Practices Act (Civil Code section 1798 et seq.), the Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), Government Code Sections 11015.5, 11019.9, and other applicable laws pertaining to information privacy.

The Water Boards adheres to the following privacy policy requirements in connection with the collection and management of any personal information obtained by the Water Boards.

The Water Boards collects personal information on individuals only as allowed by law. The Water Boards limits the collection of personal information to what is relevant and necessary to accomplish the lawful purpose of the Water Boards. For example, the Water Boards needs to know someone’s name, address, email address, or telephone number and among other things, in order to answer the individual’s questions or in order to provide requested assistance.

Personal information, as defined in the Information Practices Act, is information that identifies or describes an individual including, but not limited to: name, Social Security number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters and medical or employment history. The Water Boards only collects the personal information that is appropriate for the type of service requested such as: Operations Certification, Public Comment for Board Meetings, LISTSERV subscriptions, and other Water Boards programs and operational needs.

The Water Boards does not collect home, business or e-mail addresses, or account information from persons who simply browse our Internet website. The information that the Water Boards website automatically collects includes:

  • The domain name or Internet Protocol address of the machine used to access our website
  • The type of browser and operating system used
  • The date and time when our website is visited
  • The web pages or services displayed
  • The web page displayed when our website is left
  • The forms or publications that are uploaded

The Water Boards uses electronic cookies in some areas of the Water Boards websites to improve the overall usability of the site.The Water Boards uses electronic cookies to collect and temporarily store various types of information. The cookies allow the programs to operate correctly and know where to return the business transaction results. Cookies created on your computer when using our website, do not contain personal information and do not compromise confidentiality. The Water Boards does not retain the information you enter and, once you leave the specific program, your information is deleted from our website database.

You can refuse the cookie or delete the cookie file from your computer by using any of the widely available methods. For assistance, consult with your browser software company or their on-line help to obtain technical support to disable cookies. However, if you turn your cookies option off, some of our online services may not be accessible.

The Water Boards collects personal information about individuals through the Water Boards’ website only if an individual provides such information to the Water Boards voluntarily through e-mail, registration forms, or surveys.

The Water Boards strives in each instance to tell people who provide personal information to the Water Boards the purpose for which the information is collected. The Water Boards tells persons who are asked to provide personal information about the general uses that the Water Boards will make of that information at the time of collection. At the time of collection, the Water Boards will provide information on the authority under which the request is made, the principal uses the Water Boards makes of the information and the possible disclosures the Water Boards is obligated to make to other government agencies and to the public.

The Water Boards uses personal information only for the specified purposes, or purposes consistent with those purposes, unless the Water Boards gets the consent of the subject of the information, or unless authorized by law or regulation. In addition, the Public Records Act exists to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to have access to appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions in both state and federal law to the public's right to access public records. Electronically collected personal information is exempt from requests made under the Public Records Act. These exceptions serve various needs including maintaining the privacy of individuals. In the event of a conflict between this policy and the Public Records Act, the Information Practices Act or other law governing the disclosure of records, the applicable law will control. The Water Boards will not distribute or sell any electronically collected personal information to any third party without the user’s written consent. Collected personal information may be deleted, if not necessary by applicable state law for public records, by contacting the Water Boards’ privacy officer in writing.

The Water Boards informs those who provide personal information about their opportunity to review that information.The Water Boards allows individuals who provide personal information to review their information and contest its accuracy or completeness. Contact our privacy office in writing at the address listed at bottom of this policy for assistance.

The Water Boards uses information security safeguards. TheWater Boards takes reasonable precautions to protect the personal information on individuals collected or maintained by the Water Boards against loss, unauthorized access, use, modification, or disclosure. Information that is physically located within the Water Boards is protected by various security measures which may include the following: On our Web sites, the Water Boards uses encryption software to protect the security of individuals’ personal information during transmission of such information throughout the Water Boards’ websites. Personal information is stored in secure locations. The Water Boards staff, contractors, and partner agencies are trained on procedures for the management and release of personal information. Access to personal information is limited to those staff whose work requires it. Confidential information is destroyed according to the Water Boards records retention schedule. The Water Boards conducts periodic audits to ensure that proper information management policies and procedures are being followed.

Water Boards encourages all individuals to use appropriate safeguards to secure their personal computers and the information on those computers as well.

This policy is effective 6/25/15. Please note that our Privacy Policy reflects the Water Boards’ current business practices and changes will be reflected on the website.

The Water Boards will provide additional information on our privacy policy if requested. If you have questions or comments, about the Water Boards’ Privacy Policy or policy compliance, you may contact us at:

State Water Resources Control Board

ATTN: Privacy Officer
1001 I Street 8th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814