Title: Water Quality Control Board Records
California. State Water Quality Control Board
California State Archives
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[Identification of item], Water Quality Control Board Records, F3941, California State Archives.
Established in 1949 (
Stats. 1949, ch. 1551, p. 2793) in response to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the State Water Pollution Control Board coordinates
the actions of the various state agencies involved in the regulation and monitoring of water pollution, formulates state-wide
water quality control policy, allocates appropriated funds to the regional boards, and initiates and manages scientific research
and technical programs to establish appropriate water quality policies.
In 1962 the Board was placed under the jurisdiction of the Resources Agency. The name of the Board changed the following year
to the State Water Quality Control Board, reflecting a change in the perspective of the Board members and the Resources Agency
toward the need for a comprehensive approach to water pollution and water contamination. In 1964 the Board was appointed the
administrative agent of the federal construction grants program (Public Law 84-660) for the state of California, beginning
a long-standing relationship with the federal government. The scope of the Board's responsibilities was broadened in 1967
Stats. 1967, ch. 1446, p. 3366) to include the establishment of an interagency system for the control of water discharge. Later that
same year the State Water Rights Board and the State Water Quality Control Board merged into a new board titled the State
Water Resources Control Board. The main responsibilities of the newly created board were divided into three main areas: 1)
water rights, 2) water quality, and 3) planning and research.
The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (
Stats. 1969, ch. 482, p. 1045) substantially increased the authority and scope of the state and regional boards, strengthening the
board's regulatory capacity and funding, as well as providing for the creation of comprehensive water quality control plans
in each of the nine regions. These plans were completed in 1975. With the implementation of the Porter-Cologne Act, the Water
Quality Control Board expanded its definition of the beneficial uses of water to include long-term conservation and environmental
The State Water Quality Control Board is administered by 4 to 6 appointed members and their contracted consultants. The Board
creates state water quality policy and oversees an ongoing research and technical development program. Nine regional boards
are governed by the state board. Listed by region name and number they are: 1) North Coast, 2) San Francisco Bay, 3) Central
Coast, 4) Los Angeles, 5) Central Valley, 6) Lahontan, 7) Colorado River Basin, 8) Santa Ana and 9) San Diego. The regions
conform to the sixteen major watershed basins found in the state. The main responsibility of the regional boards is the implementation
of the state's water quality control policies through the formation of water quality control plans and the establishment and
enforcement of water discharge requirements.