Keep our Waterways Clear and Clean


Water quality became an important issue  almost 40 years ago and the public has became interested in improving and maintaining water quality. Since then, federal and state legislatures have passed many water pollution control laws to help keep our waterways clean and thriving.

The principal federal laws governing water quality and ensuring our fresh waterways stay clean and protected is the Water Pollution Control Act also known as the Clean Water Act (Act),  which was enacted in 1948. In 1972, the Act was totally revised by amendments which gave the Act its current form. The 1972 legislation put in place ambitious programs for water quality improvements that have since been expanded and are still being implemented by industries and municipalities.

In California, our waterways are also regulated and monitored by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire), Regional Water Quality Control Boards and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. CalFire has been tasked to oversee the water quality specifically for forestlands in California that are being harvested or thinned along with other forest management activities. CalFire requires all landowners to submit either an industrial timber management plan or a nonindustrial timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester.  CalFire determines if the plan follows the state rules and will provide direction to the foresters on the best way to carry out the timber harvest to ensure the impacts of the activities maintain the water quality now and for future generations.