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Basin Planning

Basin Plan / Triennial Review / Amendments / Basin Planning Projects / Monitoring Programs / TMDLs / Bay-Delta

The Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay Basin (Basin Plan) is the Board's master water quality control planning document. It designates beneficial uses and water quality objectives for waters of the State, including surface waters and groundwater. It also includes programs of implementation to achieve water quality objectives. The Basin Plan has been adopted and approved by the State Water Resources Control Board, U.S. EPA, and the Office of Administrative Law where required.

Please address any questions regarding these pages or the Basin Plan Triennial Review to Richard Looker, Basin Planner, 510-622-2451, rlooker@waterboards.ca.gov.

Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) for the San Francisco Bay Basin

The Basin Plan has been updated to reflect the Basin Plan amendments adopted up through March 2015, including the Sediment TMDL for Lagunitas Creek and the Onsite Wastewater Treatment System amendment. We are providing downloadable, printable chapters in both PDF and in html (which may be read online or printed from the web; html pages also contain many links to related laws, Board orders, etc.). Chapter 7 of the Basin Plan contains all of the adopted Water Quality Attainment Strategies including TMDLs. This chapter is organized geographically by basin. You can see maps of all the basins in the region in Chapter 2.

Complete Basin Plan - All Chapters Combined (PDF, 71 MB) (note: complete Basin Plan available below in HTML format for faster access)

Cover page and introduction (PDF, 333 KB)
Figure 1.1: Map of San Francisco Bay Basin

Chapter 2: Beneficial Uses
(includes tables; PDF, 705 KB)
links to figures in Chapter 2

Chapter 3: Water Quality Objectives (includes tables; PDF, 705 KB)

Chapter 4: Implementation Plans (no tables or figures, PDF, 960 KB)
links to figures and tables in Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Plans and Policies (PDF, 212 KB)

Chapter 6: Surveillance and Monitoring (191 KB)
links to figures in Chapter 6

Chapter 7: Water Quality Attainment Strategies including Total Maximum Daily Loads (includes tables or figures. PDF, 1200 KB)

The links below will take you to html pages of Basin Plan chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Beneficial Uses
Chapter 3: Water Quality Objectives
Chapter 4: Implementation Plans
Chapter 5: Plans and Policies
Chapter 6: Surveillance and Monitoring
Chapter 7: Water Quality Attainment Strategies Including Total Maximum Daily Loads

Chapters 1 through Chapter 7 combined in printer friendly format

Click here to see supporting documentation for each beneficial use added to Table 2-1 in 2012 (Basin Plan amendment R2-2010-0100). This document contains information on nearly 400 water bodies within the region.

Basin Plan Amendments

Periodically, the Water Board considers amendments to the Basin Plan. Each amendment is subject to an extensive public review process. At a public hearing, the Water Board may act to adopt the amendment. Adopted amendments are subject to approval by State Board. In most cases, the Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) must approve the amendment as well.

Click here to see a table of recent Basin Plan Amendments (that have all their approvals and have been incorporated into the Basin Plan) with links to supporting documentation.

Amendments in Progress

Basin Plan amendment Amending Wet Weather Overflow Policy and Incorporating New Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Policy:

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted an amendment at its June 11, 2014 meeting that would incorporate State Board's 2012 onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS) Policy, amend the Basin Plan's existing wet weather overflows policy, update information on graywater systems, and update a table of  POTW discharge locations. The amendment was approved by the State Board on November 18, 2014 and approved by the Office of Administrative Law on February 17, 2015. Please visit the project page for more information.

Stream and Wetland Protection Policy
A proposed amendment is under development that will protect stream and wetland systems, and also includes measures to protect riparian areas and floodplains. The amendment is being developed in conjunction with staff at Region 1 (North Coast region). Click here to learn more about the Policy.

Basin Planning Projects

San Francisco Bay Estuary Numeric Nutrient Endpoint (NNE) project - Click here to see the project page.

NNE Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meeting information - Click here to go to the NNE SAG page.

NNE Nutrient Technical Workgroup (NTW) meeting information - Click here to go to the NNE NTW page.


Adopted Amendments Pending Further Approval

There are no amendments currently pending further approval.

Triennial Review

2012 Triennial Review

Because the Basin Plan is the master planning document for water quality in the Bay Area, we regularly consider whether updates are needed to address new or changing water quality issues, and we involve stakeholders in this deliberation. This evaluation, called the Triennial Review, is required by, and follows the guidelines of, the federal Clean Water Act and the California Water Code.

At its November 14, 2012 meeting, the Water Board completed the 2012 Triennial Review of the Basin Plan by adopting a resolution (see link below) and list of priority Basin Planning water quality projects.

We initiated the 2012 Triennial Review by holding a public workshop on March 27, 2012. The links below provide access to the public notice of the workshop, the workshop agenda, summary of the workshop, a description of candidate Basin Planning issues for the 2012 Triennial Review, and comments received after the workshop.

The Water Board completed its last Triennial Review in 2009. You can read the Water Board resolution adopting the 2009 Prioritized List of Basin Plan Issues for Investigation (Attachment A to the Resolution) as well as the 2009 Triennial Review Staff Report by clicking on the links below.

Please note that you need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 & higher to view the above PDF files.. If you don't have it, please click on the button below to download the reader for free.