Get Up-To-Date With The Water Board Regulations – Here’s How

Do you want to pay penalties and have to hassle with a state agency?  Of course not.  Would you like to be the hero where you live while protecting your property rights, including water rights?  Here is how to be a hero and succeed at dealing with State bureaucracy, by getting your 2015 (and any earlier) reports to the Water Board done and a copy put in your files.

I have had some calls and emails asking about where to find login information, what to do if the reporting system freezes up, and 5 or 6 other questions.  The information here will get you to the right place, or the right person at the Water Board so you can get HELP!

Note: even if your diversions were ZERO, the monthly flows of zero still have to be reported.  Whether zero or some higher value of monthly acre-feet, start at the Water Board’s Water Rights: Water Use Reports And Measurement web page:


As covered before, this page has the presentations given at the Measurement Fair on August 22:

The biggest headache right now is for those who have not yet reported their 2015 (and possibly earlier) diversions.  This same web page has the list of “deficient reports”:

Here is what you’re looking for; how do you actually report your diversions online?  If you don’t have a letter from the Water Board, click on the  eWRIMS Online Reporting Webpage link and see how to get HELP.  Hint: if you are getting close to the deadline and you cannot reach anyone by phone, the guy to contact is Paul Wells at (916) 323-5195 or  If you do have your letter from the Water Board in hand, click on the  Report Management System Webpage link under “Online Reporting”:


Here is the Report Management System webpage.  On the upper right is where you log in with your User ID and Password.  The instructions will step you through reporting your diversions.  Having trouble or getting stalled?  Contact Paul Wells (information above) or Kathy Mrowka, at (916) 341-5363 or


Do you need to look up a water right before you report, or for any other reason?  Go to the eWRIMS – Electronic Water Rights Information Management System page.  Usually you will click on the EWRIMS Database System link to search by Application ID, Primary Owner, and/or other information about a right.  If you have to start with a map, click on eWRIMS Web Mapping Application


Here is the top of the eWRIMS “Accept or Decline” page:


…and here is the bottom – you need to click “ACCEPT” to continue:


By clicking “ACCEPT”, you’ll go to a page where you again have a choice to go to the Database or to the Map search, as well as go to (so far sparsely populated) Progress Reports page.  Click Water Rights Records Search:


Once you hit “Accept”, you get the familiar Water Rights Records Search Page, where you can search for rights by Type, Status, County, etc., and most importantly, Application/Permit/License ID and Primary Owner:


Just as an example, I searched on an Application ID of 1100, and here is the results page.  Every ID with 1100 in it comes up.  What I want to draw your attention to is a pretty neat feature – in every row of results, there is an “Open In GIS” link.  That will take you right to the map of that right, so you can see where it is and what other rights are around it:



Back on the Water Rights: Water Use Reports and Measurement page, near the bottom of the page is information on measurement devices that are required starting in 2017, which has been covered in several other posts:


Further down on the page are links for things covered in earlier blog posts: Measuring Devices, Measurement Methods, and the hottest subject of the last few months, Alternative Compliance:


At the very bottom of the page, you will also find information on how to make a Request For Additional Time:


Be the hero where you live, ranch, and farm!  That is what I do for a living: help you be the hero, and get rid of your headaches, upset, and trouble, to comply with State law, make sure you know your water riShawn_Profile_Barn_Light_Circleght,
and measure and report your diversions.  The phone call is free to discuss your needs,  
(530) 526-0134, and email is also free at  California needs heroes like you to stay in business and succeed!

Smart Ranchers & Farmers Save Money for Them AND You

A local farmer, rancher, and apiarist, whose name you likely know, referred me to a pretty smart ranching friend of his who has been researching more cost effective flow measurement and data collection schemes.  This retired aircraft engineer has found data collection devices with installed costs in the $500 – $600 range, instead of $1,200 up to $20,000.  I’ll publish their names if they agree later; they should have a chance to read this before they put their names on it.

They aim to save themselves and all of you some of your hard-earned money.  I really wantPMC_page - Edited to see what data collection setups are available, hopefully this week there will be an all-in-one system that meets State requirements and is not such a budget-buster.  There are also be some pre-fabricated flow measurement devices that can be easily dropped in a flat ditch where a weir (the least expensive device) won’t work, saving money compared to a formed-up flume.

From my years at DWR, my coworkers and I dealt with the trade-off between high accuracy and durability, at a high cost, and reasonable accuracy and lower durability for less money.  This was always the tension, whether acquiring surveying equipment, portable flow measurement devices, or flow gaging components like data collectors, bubbler pressure sensors, or GOES satellite radios.

Time_Cost_Scope_triangleYou have probably seen this triangle before – it is useful for planning prrojects.  For the purposes of evaluating data collectors at diversions, Time is the owner’s, contractor’s, or engineer’s level of effort to make a diversion comply with the law.  Scope is meeting the Water Board requirements – the length of that side cannot change.  Everyone, including me, wants to reduce the Cost side of the triangle.  Reducing Time means getting the labor, equipment rental, engineer’s report, and certification done cheaper – it’s the other way to reduce cost.

What is the effect of reducing cost?  The size of the triangle equals quality, and that goes down.  How much loss of quality is acceptable?  In the case of data collectors, quality equates with the durability – maybe the device will only last 2 years instead of 4, or maybe it is twice as likely to quit working in the middle of an irrigation season.  If quality goes down too much, then the data collection scheme will not meet Water Board requirements.

On the other hand, computer technology and sensors have improved over the years.  Computing costs a tiny fraction of what it once did.  Sensors have come down in cost a little, while their quality has improved somewhat.  Maybe we can get just-fine data collection at half the cost – we’ll see!