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State Water Resources Control Board Formally Adopts Strict Water Restrictions

May 6, 2015
Californians are about to feel the severity of the drought more acutely later this month when the severe water restrictions adopted yesterday by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) go into effect.
 
Unanimously adopted by the water board on a 5-0 vote, the emergency regulations will reduce urban water usage statewide by 25 percent. These temporary regulations, which will remain in effect for 270 days, implement the urban water conservation called for in Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1 Executive Order. The Office of Administrative Law will next review and approve the regulations.
 
Conditions are so dire that the Department of Water Resources skipped the final May 1 snow survey because there was literally nothing to measure at the Phillips Stations in the Sierra Nevada. Voluntary cut backs have not been effective according to SWRCB, which reported that in March, water usage was down a mere 3.6 percent compared to the same month in 2013.
 
The Sacramento Bee also reports that water usage is only down approximately 9 percent since June 2014. Water agencies are under fire. Although 10,000 complaints have been filed against water wasters, water agencies have issued just 682 actual citations. Local agencies will be under pressure to meet these very stringent water conservation requirements.
 
The adopted restrictions establish a range of water reduction mandates depending on agencies usage. Some agencies will have to cut back 4 percent but others, which have not been as successful meeting the January 2014 voluntary restrictions, will have to meet a more drastic 36 percent conservation rate. The restrictions only apply to potable water use.
 
Additional Resources
 
The SWRCB has issued a detailed FAQ to help water agencies and the public understand the Governor’s April 1 Executive Order.
 
It has also issued an Emergency Regulations Digest that details the prohibited activities and mandatory actions during the drought emergency.
 


 
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