Water Conservation FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the new laws impact customers?
There are no immediate impacts to customers. Over the next several years, water use targets will be set for our overall service area (not on an individual basis) based upon the framework outlined in the laws. Once targets are established in 2022 and implementation begins in 2023, we may work with individual households and businesses to increase water efficiency through rebates, services, programs or other means.
Why were the new laws created?
The new laws were prompted by the state’s frequent cycles of drought. They are meant to better prepare California for the next drought and the future effects of climate change on the state’s water supplies. The overall goal is to make water conservation a way of life in California.
Will it be illegal to take a shower and wash clothes in the same day, as some media have reported?
No. There is nothing in the laws that specifies when or how often a person may shower or do laundry. The new laws provide an overall framework for setting and meeting water use targets at the water provider level. While the framework does include a goal for individual indoor water use of 55 gallons per person per day beginning in 2022, this applies on an overall system-wide basis (and not an individual basis) and will not be enforced on an individual basis.
How hard will it be to meet the indoor target of 55 gallons per person per day?
It’s important to know that the target of 55 gallons per person per day is not a goal for individual customers, but will be measured across our entire service area. That said, in our service area, many of our customers are already meeting this target or do not have far to go. To help customers reduce their indoor water use, we will be offering rebates for upgrading to high-efficiency clothes washers, installing leak detection systems, and more.
Will you be monitoring and evaluating individual water use as part of the new laws?
No. The new laws do not require that individual households meet a specific target. The new laws provide a framework for setting targets on an overall basis for our entire water system, and we’ll be monitoring progress toward achieving targets on a system-wide basis.
Will individual households and businesses be fined for not meeting water use targets?
No. The new laws do not require that individual households or businesses meet a specific target. The new laws provide a framework for setting targets on an overall basis for our entire water system. That said, individuals and businesses may be fined for violating local water waste ordinances.
Will residents have to go back to extreme water conservation as they did during the drought?
No. The new laws create long-term water use targets not short-term, emergency conservation targets like those implemented during the drought. The long-term targets are meant to inspire greater efficiency over time rather than mandate short-term cutbacks that require extreme measures such as not watering your lawn or flushing the toilet less.
How will the new laws impact businesses in California?
The new laws do not set specific water use targets for business, but they do outline a framework for creating new water efficiency performance measures for businesses. These are recommended actions for specific business sectors to improve water efficiency over time. Performance measures will be determined over the next several years, and the process will include opportunities for public input.
When will the new water conservation targets take effect?
Water providers must set new water conservation targets by 2022 and will be expected to begin implementing them by 2023 and every year after that.
What are the next steps for implementing the new laws?
The laws will now be translated into regulations, which will outline details and rules for implementation at the local level. We will be actively involved in working with other stakeholders and state agencies to help shape and finalize the regulations by the deadline of 2022.