This is a short post: Some folks have asked, “What are the penalties if Water Board regulations are not met?” Of course there are many, and they are in addition to the many
fees charged by the Board, including the proposed (likely already approved) changes for fiscal year 2016-2017.
The worst – although not the most expensive – is Failure To File. This is a sudden, hefty $1,000 penalty, and if diversion filings are not all caught up within 30 days, $500 per day. What’s scary is that a sizable percentage of diverters – maybe 30% – have not been notified by the Water Board, nor have they otherwise seen the requirements! I have talked with staff from larger companies with water diversions, within the last two months, who had no idea about the new requirements and fines.
Oh, and you have to file even if you diverted ZERO flow! The regulation is not reasonable in that way – filing is a requirement no matter what. If you never intend to use a water right again, you can work on a revocation process with the Board. Until or unless your right is revoked, you still have to file.
Water Board staff have been reasonable so far. They at least ensure that a responsible person is reached by telephone and notified first. I don’t know how long that will last…at some point they’re going to say, “Everyone must know by now” and start issuing fines with no notice.
The main contact person at the Water Board is: Paul Wells, Senior WRCE Specialist, (916) 323-5195, Paul.Wells@waterboards.ca.gov
For the Delta ONLY, the main contact person is: Lauren Barva, (916)-319-8264, Lauren.Barva@waterboards.ca.gov
Information on measurement devices in this blog is up to date; weirs, orifices,
and flumes have been the same for years. In-line and strap-on flow meters for pipes are changing slowly, and those changes will be updated here. Meters include acoustic (sound) non-contact, for pipelines and
canals; magnetic meters both inline and strap-on, with a probe in the flow of water; propeller meters, and some others.
What changes often, and suddenly, are water laws and regulations. Most have been the same for years, but a boatload of surface water laws were passed in 2009, and a cargo ship full of groundwater laws were passed in 2014. The regulations for bureaucrats to apply these laws are still being created and updated.
So when you look at my posts on water laws and regulations, start with the most recent! That way you won’t pick up outdated information from two years ago. This is true no matter where on the Internet you get your information. Just like with milk from the store, Check The Date.
Water conservation regulations are quickly changing – I don’t address those much here, or else I would be a full-time blogger with little engineering income! Please do leave me a comment, complaint, suggestion, rebuttal, or other message below: