State Water Board Adopts Extended Emergency Water Conservation Regulation

Top Story: State Water Board Adopts Extended Emergency Water Conservation Regulation
Extended Regulation Gives More Flexibility to Water Suppliers to Meet Conservation Targets
Contact: George Kostyrko
For Immediate Release
Feb. 2, 2016
SACRAMENTO – With California still experiencing severe drought despite recent rains, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today adopted an extended and revised emergency regulation to ensure that urban water conservation continues in 2016.

The regulation extends restrictions on urban water use through October 2016 while providing urban water suppliers more flexibility in meeting their conservation requirements. It also directs staff to report back on additional flexibility once more complete water supply information is known in April. The action follows Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Nov. 13, 2015, Executive Order directing the State Water Board to extend the emergency water conservation regulation should drought conditions persist through January 2016.

“After four years of extreme drought, there is still a need for Californians to keep up their stellar conservation practices,” said Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “This updated regulation acknowledges that need, while making adjustments in response to feedback from water suppliers and others. If we continue to receive a lot of rain and snow in February and March, we may scale back the conservation requirements further, drop them, or move to another approach.”

Under the revised regulation, statewide water conservation is expected to exceed 20 percent compared to 2013 water use. The revised regulation responds to calls for greater consideration of certain factors that influence water use in different parts of the state, including hotter-than-average climate, population growth, and significant investments in new local, drought resilient water sources such as wastewater reuse and desalination.

Due to the severity of the water deficits over the past four years, many of California’s reservoirs and groundwater basins remain depleted, and the need for continued water conservation persists. Today’s action serves as the fourth iteration of the emergency regulation since the State Water Board first instituted statewide conservation requirements in July 2014.

Source: State Water Resources Control Board, 2/11/2016

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