SB 389

Surface Water Rights Verification

In California, water rights are hugely consequential for the well-being of our natural lands and communities that rely on them. Water rights held before 1914 currently do not have to undergo the same scrutiny as those who held water rights after that year. For this reason, there are gaps within the authority to curtail water rights, preventing accurate enforcement of water protection. As the effects of the climate crisis worsen, it is important to have accurate knowledge of water availability and usage, and modernized water rights to accurately enforce water protection. SB 389 grants the State Water Resources Control Board the authority to review, verify, and issue decisions on senior water rights claims to prevent disproportionate usage of water.

Author: Ben Allen

Bill info from the legislature

Issues: Natural Resources, Water, and Climate Resiliency

Signed into Law


Signed into Law


58 Yes
17 No
5 Abstain


30 Yes
8 No
2 Abstain