Water Regulations

Contra Costa is moving steadily forward on the path to regulate commercial cannabis in their jurisdiction. However, at the June 26, 2018 Board of Supervisors Meeting, discussion on one issue continued to belabor the speedy implementation of their draft ordinance: WATER.

Contra Costa, along with all the Bay Area and Coastal California Counties, are currently in some kind of water crisis from abnormally dry to moderate drought. With the recent years long drought still on law makers’ minds and the threat of global warming looming, jurisdictions are taking great care to implement water regulations that promote sustainability.

While previous cannabis cultivation water usage was regulated solely by regional water boards, such as Order R1-2015-0023 from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (NCRWQCB), those responsibilities have, by and large, been handed over to the state. Guidelines set out by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) now control water usage for cultivators.

In order to get a state license, you will need to be enrolled in the State Water Program which is outlined in the State Water Resources Control Board’s Cannabis General Order. The order regulates numeric and narrative instream flow, watershed gage assignments, water diversion and waste discharge, general water quality certification and any planning and reporting needed for responsible water usage.

Navigating water compliance can be a difficult task, the Cannabis General Order alone is over 130 pages. Some local jurisdictions, such as Contra Costa, have also been adding even stricter regulations in hopes of adopting policies that promote water sustainability. More often than not being compliant requires a third-party evaluation of your property. Give us a call if you need any assistance.


California Drought Monitor here

Cannabis General Order here