Recent news media reports have provided inaccurate information concerning individual water use standards set by two important pieces of California legislation, Senate Bill 606 (Hertzberg) and Assembly Bill 1668 (Friedman). The following are the facts regarding this water conservation legislation which was signed into effect in May 2018.
- Water agencies are required to calculate an annual water efficiency standard for their entire service area based on indoor residential water use, outdoor residential water use, and commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation.
- The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for individuals. It is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard for a water supplier’s service area.
- Individuals will not be responsible for State Water Resources Control Board fines. Instead, the State Water Board can fine water agencies up to $10,000 per day if the agency does not meet its water efficiency standard.
- There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. There are no specific statewide laws that require individual households to meet any specific targets. Water suppliers are responsible for meeting state-mandated efficiency targets.
The State Water Resource Control Board is currently working with urban water suppliers to implement the new statewide water efficiency standards which will be adopted by June 30, 2022. Over time, water efficiency standards will become more robust, decreasing daily water use to 50 gallons per person per day in January of 2030. Retail water suppliers, such as SBMWD, will be held to these standards, however, determining how compliance with the mandates is calculated is the responsibility of water suppliers.
Efficient water use is the most cost-effective and immediate way to achieve long-term conservation goals. As such, SBMWD is committed to sharing information, programs, and incentives to encourage and support water use efficiency for our customers. For more information on water use efficiency in the city, please visit the SBMWD Water Conservation webpage.
For more information about SB 606 and AB 1668 please visit the State Water Resources Control Board website.