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Long Term Water Conservation: Legislative Efforts Begin

April 28, 2017
Since Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 7 Executive Order declaring an end to the statewide drought, conversations have turned to long-term water conservation.
The Administration released a final version of its Making Conservation a Way of Life report, with a fact sheet outlining the proposals, as well as trailer bill language to effectuate some of the changes.
The Assembly is leading the debate after its April 26 hearing on eight proposals. Among the bills are three by Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), who has amended the trailer bill proposals into AB 1667-1669.
Water agencies and other stakeholders have put forward their own proposals in Assembly Member Blanca Rubio’s (D-West Covina) AB 968 and AB 1654, which take a different approach to water conservation from the Administration.
To set the context for the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office released the chart below along with a handout. The committee passed all of the measures, while acknowledging the need to ultimately have one approach to addressing long-term water conservation.
Water Conservation Legislation Before
Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife
April 25, 2017 Hearing
Bill number      Author              Version Date         Description
AB 869              Rubio                3/28/2017               Exempts recycled water from conservation requirements under all conditions.
AB 968              Rubio                4/17/2017                Requires new 2025 water use efficiency targets for urban water suppliers. Provides options for the targets, protects water rights, and exempts recycled water.
AB 1000            Friedman           2/16/2017                Requires CEC to certify innovative water conservation and water loss detection and control technologies.
AB 1323            Weber               2/17/2017                Requires DWR to convene a stakeholder workgroup to develop proposals for new long-term water use targets.
AB 1654            Rubio                3/28/2017               Requires new drought shortage response procedures in urban water management plans. Defines emergency supply, and protects water suppliers that comply with the plans from any state action in times of drought.
AB 1667            Friedman           4/18/2017                Requires all agricultural water suppliers report water budgets, have drought plans, and expands efficient water management practices.
AB 1668            Friedman           4/18/2017                Requires new drought shortage response with detailed
levels of response. Incorporates climate change, enhances water supply analysis, and strengthens the enforceability
of urban water management plans and drought response plans.
AB 1669            Friedman           4/18/2017                Authorizes and requires SWRCB to adopt long-term water use efficiency standards.

Source: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife staff.
CEC = California Energy Commission, DWR = Department of Water Resources, and SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board.

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