Effective July 1, 2014, California’s Drinking Water Program (DWP) transferred to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) from the Department of Public Health. The intent of the transfer is to align California’s drinking water and water quality programs “in an integrated organizational structure” to enhance the state’s ability to protect public health and water quality as well as meet future water supply demands.
The transfer was described in a 2013 white paper. Upon receiving input from a public meeting held on January 15, 2014, by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Health and Human Services Agency, along with input from the Drinking Water Reorganization Task Force, a transition plan was released in March. Subsequently, Senate Bills 851 and 861, describing how the DWP would be statutorily and fiscally transferred, were signed into law.
Additional information on the transfer, as well as a fact sheet on the trailer bill language, can be found at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinkingwater/.
An additional change to the SWRCB was the naming of Cindy Forbes, a veteran of the California Department of Public Health’s former Drinking Water Program, as Deputy Director of the Division of Drinking Water on July 1. Forbes has worked in the Drinking Water Program for more than 30 years.
According to a SWRCB announcement issued by Executive Director Thomas Howard, Forbes “comes highly recommended by a wide variety of stakeholders, including Water Board staff, with whom she has worked for many years. We are fortunate to have been able to hire a leader with Cindy’s knowledge, energy, and capability.”