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Flood Recharge Diversions (Water Code §1242.1)

Water Code § 1242.1 allows parties to divert for groundwater recharge without a water right if in compliance with certain requirements summarized below. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) previously tracked implementation of a similar effort under Executive Orders N-4-23 and N-7-23. The above webpage provides information on diversion reporting. If you are a party exploring commencing an effort to divert under this water code authority, please first review Requirements. When you are ready, get started by checking out Forms. If you are an interested party, check out Reports Received and the Board Annual Reports. Section 1242.1 only applies to flood diversions during the period of July 10, 2023 to January 1, 2029.


  Reporting Form

To expedite processing, reports should be completed using the following fillable form. Reports generated online are submitted to the following email address

Helpful information as you complete the form:

  • Timelines: The diverter must file with the Board and their groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) all of the following:
    • The required Notice, at least 48 hours before diverting if possible, but no later than 48 hours after diversions begin
    • The required Preliminary Report, no later than 14 days after diversions begin
    • The required Final Report, no later than 15 days after diversions end
  • The Department of Water Resources’ website can assist in identifying flood diversion GPS coordinates and APN(s).

Questions on form? Contact:

Diversion Reports Received

Water Code section 1242.2 requires that the Board post all received diversion reports.  If multiple versions of a report are received, all modified versions submitted will be posted on this website.

Diversion Locations. Coming soon! Map illustrating the GPS location of all reported diverters and PODs this water year. The Board also intends to post a summary map at the end of each water year as part of the annual report. 

Diverter Report ID Waterbody Source Notice Date
Diversion Begins Preliminary Report Date/Link Diversion Ends Final Report Date/Link Acre Feet Diverted Acres Used for Recharge


The diversion of floodflows for groundwater recharge does not require an appropriative water right (e.g., a temporary or regular permit) for diversions between July 10, 2023 and January 1, 2029 if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. A local or regional agency that has adopted a local plan of flood control pursuant to Water Code section 8201 or has considered flood risk as part of its most recently adopted general plan has given notice via its internet website, electronic distribution list, emergency notification service, or another means of public notice, that flows downstream of the point of diversion are at imminent risk of flooding and inundation of land, roads, or structures.

    For purposes of diversions under section 1242.1, “floodflow” means any of the following:
    • Where a waterbody is subject to a defined flood stage, flows in excess of flood stage where actions are necessary to avoid threats to human health and safety.
    • Surface water has escaped from or is likely to imminently escape from a channel or waterbody causing or threatening to cause inundation of residential or commercial structures, or roads needed for emergency response. “Likely imminent escape from a channel or waterbody” is demonstrated by measured flows in excess of the maximum design capacity of a flood control project, where present, but does not include flows that inundate wetlands, working lands, or floodplains, events that constitute a “design flood,” groundwater seepage, or waters confined to a “designated floodway.”  “Imminent” means a high degree of confidence that a condition will begin in the immediate future. When the flood conditions have abated to the point there is no longer a risk of flooding and inundation of land, roads, or structures downstream of the point of diversion, diversions are no longer authorized under this section.
    • Where flows would inundate ordinarily dry areas in the bed of a terminal lake to a depth that floods dairies and other ongoing agricultural activities, or areas with substantial residential, commercial, or industrial development.
  2. Diverted water may not be applied to any of the following:
    • Barns, ponds, or lands where manure/waste from an animal facility:
      • generates waste from the feeding/housing of animals, and
      • operates more than 45 days per year, and
      • operates in a confined area, and is
      • not vegetated
    • Agricultural fields that have been identified as an outlier with respect to nitrogen application by any of the following:
      • the State Water Board
      • a Regional Water Board
      • an agricultural coalition charged with implementation of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program
    • Areas that could exacerbate the threat of flood and other health and safety concerns or cause damage to:
      • critical levees or other infrastructure
      • wastewater/drinking water systems
      • drinking water wells/supplies
    • Except for existing facilities constructed for the purpose of groundwater recharge or managed wetlands, areas that have not been in active irrigated agricultural cultivation within the past three years, including:
      • grazing lands
      • annual grasslands
      • natural habitats
  3. Diversions may not occur when Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water right holders are either:
    • Releasing stored water, or
    • Reoperating facilities to provide flow to meet water quality control plan or endangered species requirements
  4. Diversion and infiltration for groundwater recharge may only occur using:
    • Existing diversion infrastructure or temporary pumps
    • Protective screens on temporary pump intakes to minimize the impacts to fish/aquatic life
    • Existing groundwater recharge locations
  5. The person/entity making the diversion must file the following with the Board and the appropriate groundwater sustainability agency (GSA):
    • The required Notice, at least 48 hours before diverting if possible, but no later than 48 hours after diversions begin
    • The required Preliminary Report, no later than 14 days after diversions begin
    • The Required Final Report, no later than 15 days after diversions end
  6. Reporting requirements:
    • The required Notice must contain:
      • person/entity diverting
      • global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for the point(s) of diversion (POD)
      • map identifying the recharge area
      • affected assessor parcel numbers (APNs)
      • date diversions began
    • The required Preliminary/Final Reports must contain:
      • person/entity diverting
      • GPS coordinates for the POD(s)
      • map identifying the recharge area
      • affected APN(s)
      • date diversions began
      • date diversions end (final report)
      • estimate of the acre-feet (AF)diverted (final report)

The above outline is intended only to be an aid to diverters; the specific requirements can be found in Water Code section 1242.1

On an annual basis, the Board will compile information on the reports it receives pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1242.1, identify the number of projects, estimated amount of water diverted and recharged, and locations of recharge projects implemented under this section.

Diversion Year
(Oct 1- Sept 30)
No. of Projects Total Amount Diverted Total Estimated Amount Recharged Locations of Recharge Projects Recommendations
(starting July 10, 2023)
(diversions commenced
before January 1, 2029)

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