Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

CHAPTER 7. Water Transfer [470 - 484]

  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 970, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 3. State Assistance [480 - 484]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 970, Sec. 1. )


The department shall establish an ongoing program to facilitate the voluntary exchange or transfer of water and implement the various state laws that pertain to water transfers. The department shall seek to facilitate these transactions only if the water to be transferred is already developed and being diverted from a stream for beneficial use or has been conserved.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 970, Sec. 1.)


The department shall create and maintain a list of entities seeking to enter into water supply transfers, leases, exchanges, or other similar arrangements. In addition, the department shall maintain a list of the physical facilities which may be available to carry out water supply transfers.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 970, Sec. 1.)


The department shall prepare a water transfer guide which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(a) A review of existing and appropriate state and federal laws that pertain to water transfers, water markets, or water rights.

(b) A list of persons or public agencies throughout the state involved in water management who could be helpful to those seeking assistance to transfer water.

(c) Information and resources which could be used to identify potential third-party impacts and mitigation alternatives, including economic or legal issues related to the transfer of water, and environmental issues, including, but not limited to, those described in Section 1018.

(d) A description of the services available to water users from the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 387, Sec. 13. (SB 749) Effective January 1, 2014.)


The department shall consult and coordinate its activities with other state boards, departments, agencies, or offices whose assistance may be desirable or necessary in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 970, Sec. 1.)


(a) The temporary transfer of any water or water right that otherwise would have been consumptively used or stored by the transferor in the absence of the temporary transfer, does not in any way prejudice the transferor’s right to the use of the water in the future.

(b) “Consumptively used,” for purposes of this section, means the amount of water which has been consumed through use by evapotranspiration, has percolated underground, or has been otherwise removed from use in the downstream water supply as a result of direct diversion.

(Added by Stats. 1991, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 12, Sec. 2. Effective October 9, 1991.)

WATWater Code - WAT3.