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State Water Board Extends, Alters Water Conservation Mandate

Cities Specific Data Due by March 15 to Receive Credit

February 5, 2016
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on Tuesday voted to extend through October the emergency urban water conservation regulation, while making some modest changes to address the concerns raised by cities and water agencies.
New in the update are adjustments of between 2 to 8 percent, maximum, which will be based on hotter-than-average climate, population grown and investments in drought-resilient water sources. Cities must provide specific data to the board by March 15 to determine the size of an adjustment.
The regulation continues to mandate how much water suppliers must save based on their residential gallons per day data from July through September 2014.
The update also creates penalties for homeowners’ associations or community services organizations that impede property owners who reduce or stop watering during the declared drought emergency.
The board directed its staff to report back on water supply conditions in April, leaving the door open for further adjustments based on additional rain and snowfall in the coming months.
The emergency regulation aims to reduce statewide water use by 20 percent compared to 2013. Over a seven-month period, the prior regulation has resulted in a 25.5 percent reduction in water use.
State officials praised Californians for their conservation efforts but underscored the need for continued conservation. Despite recent storms, the state’s reservoirs and groundwater basins remain depleted after four years of record drought.
The emergency regulation fact sheet has more detailed information.

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