DWR's Encroachments and Relocations Section is responsible for overseeing policies and procedures for Encroachment Permit activities along the State Water Project (SWP) right-of-way throughout the state.
DWR's Encroachments and Relocations Section activities include:
- General construction activities on or near the right-of-way
- Construction of road or bridge improvements over pipelines or the aqueduct
- Utility work
- Crossings above or below the ground surface
- Diversions of water onto the right-of-way
- Commercial filming
- Planting of vegetation
- Certain types of farming activities
Water Code section 12899 and California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 2, Chapter 6, Articles 1 - 10 mandate that the use of any SWP right-of-way for any purpose requires written authorization from DWR, regardless of whether the State owns fee title or has an easement, license, permit, or joint use agreement.
These Regulations also set out the technical requirements that must be met to obtain an Encroachment Permit. These requirements ensure that the structural integrity of the SWP facilities are adequately protected before, during and after any activity on the right-of-way, and to ensure that the State's property rights and ability to operate and maintain its facilities are not infringed upon without the State's consent and concurrence.
Pursuant to Regulations section 610.2, you are required to contact the appropriate DWR Field Division Office for requests for temporary access or entry into the SWP right-of-way.
The Statute and Regulations also specifically prohibit certain activities which include, but are not limited to:
- Distribution of water onto the right-of-way
- Impeding the natural flow of water into or through the SWP system.
- Unauthorized encroachments will be removed or abated at the expense of the encroacher
DWR must be notified of any pending subdivision of property within one mile of SWP facilities in accordance with Government Code 66455.1 to allow DWR the opportunity to evaluate potential effects of the proposed subdivision on SWP facilities, and to convey concerns to the local agency having jurisdiction for consideration in the tentative map approval process.
Even if your planned development does not fall within the requirements of Government Code 66455.1, but is within one mile of SWP facilities, it would be prudent to consider the potential effects of your project on SWP facilities and to consult with DWR if there appears to be even the slightest potential impact.
For your convenience, the links under Encroachment Permit docs on the right-hand side of this page allow access to the Encroachment Permit Regulations and Encroachment Permit Application form that will be a part of every Encroachment Permit issued. If you would like these documents mailed to you instead, or if you would like more information on whether or not your planned activity will require an Encroachment Permit for work within SWP right-of-way, call DWR toll free at (800) 600-4397.
Encroachment Permit Regulations
Division 2. Department of Water Resources, Chapter 6. Encroachments
- Article 1. General Provisions
- Article 2. Encroachment Permit General Provisions
- Article 3. Encroachment Permit Exemption
- Article 4. Existing Encroachments
- Article 5. Encroachment Permit Process
- Article 6. Requirements for Specific Types of Encroachments
- Article 7. Corrosion Protection Requirements
- Article 8. Encroachment Permit Evaluation Process
- Article 9. Unauthorized Encroachments
- Article 10. General Encroachment Permit for Operations and Maintenance by Public Agencies
Criteria for successfully completing a DWR application for an Encroachment Permit
The following WestlawNext links contain the criteria for successfully completing a Department of Water Resources (DWR) application for an encroachment permit pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 2, Sections 600-635.
Article 5, Section 610.1 General Application Requirements of the regulations details the requirements for all encroachment permit applications.
Article 6 of the regulations (sections 612.1 through 612.67) detail the additional requirements of specific types encroachments as follows:
- Section 612.1 Bridge Encroachments
- Section 612.2 Landscaping Encroachments
- Section 612.3 Longitudinal Encroachments
- Section 612.4 Road, Parking Area and Recreational Trails Encroachments
- Section 612.5 Subdivision Encroachments
- Section 612.6 Utility Encroachments
- Section 612.61 Utility Encroachments Crossing Under SWP Open Aqueduct
- Section 612.62 Overhead Electrical and Communication Utilities Encroachments
- Section 612.63 Casing Requirements
- Section 612.64 Hazardous Material Carrier Requirements
- Section 612.65 Attaching Utilities to Cross-Drainage Structures
- Section 612.66 Utility Crossing SWP Underground Pipeline
- Section 612.67 Utility Crossing Under SWP's Roads
Encroachment Permit Docs
Division of Engineering
Department of Water Resources
P. O. Box 942836
1416 9th Street, Room 425
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
Phone (toll free): (800) 600-4397