Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 2. WATER [1000 - 5976]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )


  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

CHAPTER 6.5. Temporary Permits [1425 - 1431]
  ( Chapter 6.5 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 536. )


(a) Any person, whether or not an applicant, permittee, or licensee under provisions of this division other than this chapter, who has an urgent need to divert and use water may apply for, and the board may issue, a conditional, temporary permit without complying with other procedures or provisions of this division, but subject to all requirements of this chapter.

(b) Prior to issuing a permit pursuant to this chapter, the board shall make all of the following findings:

(1) The applicant has an urgent need for the water proposed to be diverted and used.

(2) The water may be diverted and used without injury to any lawful user of water.

(3) The water may be diverted and used without unreasonable effect upon fish, wildlife, or other instream beneficial uses.

(4) The proposed diversion and use are in the public interest, including findings to support permit conditions imposed to ensure that the water is diverted and used in the public interest, without injury to any lawful user of water, and without unreasonable effect upon fish, wildlife, and other instream beneficial uses.

(c) “Urgent need,” for the purposes of this chapter, means the existence of circumstances from which the board may in its judgment conclude that the proposed temporary diversion and use is necessary to further the constitutional policy that the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable and that waste of water be prevented; except that the board shall not find an applicant’s need to be urgent if the board in its judgment concludes, if applicable, that the applicant has not exercised due diligence either (1) in making application for a permit pursuant to provisions of this division other than this chapter, or (2) in pursuing that application to permit.

(d) The board may delegate to any officer or employee of the board all or any of its functions under this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 667, Sec. 8. Effective September 20, 1996.)


The application for a temporary permit shall be completed in accordance with the provisions of Section 1260 and shall be accompanied by such maps, drawings, and other data as may be required by the board, and the applicant shall pay an application fee, and a permit fee if a temporary permit is issued, both computed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 1525) of this part.

(Added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 536.)


Before making the findings required by Section 1425, the board shall do all of the following:

(a) Review available records, files, and decisions that relate to the availability of water from the source at the proposed point of diversion to serve the proposed temporary diversion and use, and that relate to the rights of downstream users.

(b) Consult with representatives of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(c) Make a field investigation, if necessary or desirable in the opinion of the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 683, Sec. 53. (SB 798) Effective January 1, 2016.)


The board may issue a temporary permit in advance of the notice required by this section. In all cases, whether or not a temporary permit has been issued, the board shall, as soon as practicable after the receipt of an application, issue and deliver to the applicant or permittee a notice of the application or permit, which includes the information required by Section 1301. Publication or posting of the notice shall be as follows:

(a) If the application or permit is for more than three cubic feet per second or for more than 200 acre-feet of storage, and if the permit is to remain in effect for more than 30 days, the notice shall be published by and at the expense of the applicant or permittee at the earliest practicable time, not to exceed 20 days from the date of issuance of the notice, in a newspaper having a general circulation and published within the county wherein the point of diversion lies. Proof of publication shall be by copy of the notice as published and made part of an affidavit filed with the board within 10 days of publication.

(b) In all other cases, unless the permit is to be in effect less than 10 days:

(1) The applicant or permittee shall post the notice in at least two conspicuous places in the locality to be affected by the diversion and use. Notices shall be posted not later than two days after receipt of the notice by the applicant or permittee. An affidavit containing proof of posting shall be filed with the board within seven days of the date of notice.

(2) The board shall send a copy of the notice by registered mail to each person who, in the judgment of the board, could be adversely affected by the temporary diversion and use.

(c) Regardless of the rate of diversion or the amount of storage, if the permit is to be in effect less than 10 days, the board shall exercise its discretion with respect to requiring notice, both before and after issuance of the temporary permit, and may require such proof of notice as it deems appropriate.

(d) Any interested person may file objection to the temporary diversion and use with the board and shall send a copy to the applicant or permittee.

(e) The board shall give prompt consideration to any objection, and may hold a hearing thereon, after notice to all interested persons.

(f) Failure of the permittee to comply with any requirement of this section shall result in the automatic termination of the temporary permit.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 563.)


The board shall supervise diversion and use of water under the temporary permit for the protection of all lawful users of waters and instream beneficial uses and for compliance with permit conditions.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 455, Sec. 3.)


A temporary permit issued under this chapter shall not result in the creation of a vested right, even of a temporary nature, but shall be subject at all times to modification or revocation in the discretion of the board. The authorization to divert and use water under a temporary permit shall automatically expire 180 days after the authorization takes effect, unless an earlier date is specified or the temporary permit is revoked. The 180-day period does not include any time required for monitoring, reporting, or mitigation before or after the authorization to divert or use water under the temporary permit. If the temporary permit authorizes diversion to storage, the 180-day period is a limitation on the authorization to divert and not a limitation on the authorization for beneficial use of water diverted to storage.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 340, Sec. 45. (SB 839) Effective September 13, 2016.)


A temporary permit issued under this chapter may be renewed by the board. Requests for renewals shall be processed in the manner provided by this chapter except that the permittee shall not be required to file duplicate maps, drawings or other data if they were furnished with the original application. Each such renewal shall be valid for a period not to exceed 180 days from the date of renewal.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 844.)

WATWater Code - WAT