CA Water Code Section 13956

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that clean water, which fosters the health of the people, the beauty of their environment, the expansion of industry and agriculture, the enhancement of fish and wildlife, the improvement of recreational facilities and the provision of pure drinking water at a reasonable cost, is an essential public need. However, because the State of California is subject to great fluctuations in precipitation which have created semiarid and arid conditions in many parts of the state, and because the state has historically experienced a dry year on the average once every fourth year and has occasionally experienced such dry years consecutively resulting in conditions of drought, it is of paramount importance that the limited water resources of the state be preserved and protected from pollution and degradation in order to ensure continued economic, community, and social growth. Although the State of California is endowed with abundant lakes and ponds, streams and rivers, and hundreds of miles of shoreline, as well as large quantities of underground water, these vast water resources are threatened by pollution, which, if not checked, will impede the state’s economic, community and social growth. The chief cause of pollution is the discharge of inadequately treated waste into the waters of the state. Many public agencies have not met the demands for adequate waste treatment or the control of water pollution because of inadequate financial resources and other responsibilities. Increasing population accompanied by accelerating urbanization, growing demands for water of high quality, rising costs of construction and technological changes mean that unless the state acts now the needs may soar beyond the means available for public finance. Meeting these needs is a proper purpose of the federal, state and local governments. Local agencies, by reason of their closeness to the problem, should continue to have primary responsibility for construction, operation and maintenance of the facilities necessary to cleanse our waters. Since water pollution knows no political boundaries and since the cost of eliminating the existing backlog of needed facilities and of providing additional facilities for future needs will be beyond the ability of local agencies to pay, the state, to meet its responsibility to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the state, should assist in the financing. The federal government is contributing to the cost of control of water pollution, and just provision should be made to cooperate with the United States of America.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 13956’s source at ca​.gov