Such regulatory bodies as exist cover designated regions <ref>http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterboards_map.shtml</ref> and regulate piped waste water discharges to surface water which include riparian and ocean ecosystems. These systems of review bodies are charged with maintenance maintaining a healthy aquifer for purposes of wilderness ecology (wildlife habitat,drinking water, agricultural irrigation and fisheries. Another area of regulatory attention, which may or may not be housed within the same regulatory structure, includes storm water discharge which tend to carry fertilizer residue and bacterial contamination from domestic and wild animals. <ref>http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ciwqs/who_is_regulated.shtml</ref> They have the authority to make orders which are binding upon private actors such as international corporations <ref>http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_17612147</ref> and do not hesitate to exercise the police powers of the state. Water agencies have statutory mandate which in many hurisdictions is resilient to pressure from constituents and lawmakers in which they on occasion stand their ground despite heated opposition from agricultural interests<ref>http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_18314090?nclick_check=1</ref>
On the other hand, the Boards enjoy strong support from environmental concerns such as Greenpeace,Heal the Ocean and Channelkeepers.<ref>http://www.facebook.com/notes/heal-the-ocean/hilary-spoke-to-regional-water-quality-control-board-today/10150089482817928</ref>
=== Regulatory scope=== Jurisdictions may have saltwater, freshwater, or both concerns.
Surface water and groundwater have often been studied and managed as separate resources, although they are interrelated.<ref name="circ1139">United States Geological Survey (USGS). Denver, CO. [http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/circ1139/ "Ground Water and Surface Water: A Single Resource."] USGS Circular 1139. 1998.</ref> There are three recognized classifications of groundwater which jurisdictions may distinguish: subterranean streams, underflow of surface waters, and percolating groundwater.<ref>http://www.blm.gov/nstc/WaterLaws/california.html</ref>
Sites of policy makers' concern include:
* Consistency with national regulations
* and several other activities with practices that could degrade water quality.
Ballast water may contain toxins, invasive plants, animals, viruses, and bacteria.