Beneficial Use Designation Studies

This tab provides access to all available Beneficial Use Designation Studies documents. Summary descriptions of each project area can be found in the articles below. Click on the "Read More..." button to find more information about the project, as well as a list of the main supporting documents for that Project.

instructThe most recent listing of available Beneficial Use Designation Studies documents can be found in the folder below. Select the folder icon to expand the list. Clicking on the “Last Updated On” column heading will display the list in either ascending or descending order by date.


Beneficial Use Designation StudiesBeneficial Use Designation Studies


MUN Beneficial Use in Agriculturally Dominated Water Bodies Archetype

Project Description: By way of the Sources of Drinking Water Policy (Resolution 88-63), the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plans (Basin Plans) designate MUN beneficial use to all surface and groundwater bodies unless they are specifically listed in a Basin Plan as water bodies that are not designated with MUN. Recent court findings have confirmed that to utilize exceptions identified in Resolution 88-63, for constructed and modified natural channels used to transport agricultural drainage, a basin plan amendment is required.  . The CV-SALTS initiative has identified the need to evaluate the appropriate designation and level of protection of MUN beneficial uses in constructed agricultural drains as well as other agriculturally dominated water bodies. The receiving waters of four POTWs in the cities of Willows, Colusa, Biggs and Live Oak are serving as archetypes or case studies for the development of a framework to evaluate the appropriate level of MUN beneficial use protection in agriculturally-dominated water bodies throughout the Central Valley.

Project Status: Project initiated in the latter part of 2011; Phase 1 completed in 2015; Phase 2 completed in December 2016; Basin Plan amendment process planned for 2017.

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Tulare Lake Bed MUN Archetype

Project Description: As part of its effort to develop a Salt/Nutrient Management Plan (SNMP) for the Central Valley, CV-SALTS is evaluating appropriate designations and level of protection for waterbodies currently designated with the MUN beneficial use, taking into account the requirements of the California Sources of Drinking Water Policy (SDWP) (Resolution 88-63) and other environmental characteristics. Through this activity, a portion of the Tulare Lake Bed groundwater basin has been identified as an area that appears to meet the exemption criteria set forth in the SDWP. This same area has also been identified as an area where the AGR use may not be applicable. Accordingly, CV-SALTS initiated technical studies and basin planning activities in collaboration with the Tulare Lake Drainage District to develop the required documentation to support de-designation of MUN (and possibly AGR) from a portion of groundwater body underlying the Tulare Lake Bed. The expected final outcome is a Basin Plan Amendment. In addition, the project deliverables will support development of the Central Valley SNMP by providing an archetype or template for other studies designed to evaluate the applicability of beneficial uses on a groundwater body.

Project Status: Project initiated in September 2012; CV-SALTS work was completed in October 2016. Basin Plan amendment process planned for 2017.

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