Two water-use efficiency bills signed into law
Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two water-use efficiency bills (SB 606 and AB 1668) making water conservation a way of life in California.
We've received some questions from concerned customers and wanted to clarify any confusion related to these bills. AB 1668 and SB 606 require the State Water Resources Control Board, in coordination with the Department of Water Resources, to establish long-term urban water use efficiency standards by June 30, 2022. The new requirements will not restrict daily water use by individual customers, as has been erroneously reported by some. Instead it requires water agencies to develop agency-wide water budgets. This means that in the future, Vallecitos will need to determine how best to keep the total water use in our community below the specified water use target.
Some prominent internet reports regarding new state water-use efficiency regulations are false and misleading.
o There is no statewide mandate for individuals to reduce indoor water use to 55 gallons per person or to avoid showering and doing laundry on the same day.
o The 55-gallon figure is a piece of a complex calculation to set overall water-use objectives for water agencies starting in 2023.
o Potential fines outlined in the new state laws are for water agencies, not for individuals.
o Under the law, water agencies have discretion about how to achieve state objectives given local conditions.
o Continued adoption of water-efficient technology (i.e. appliances, irrigation components and other devices) is expected to help residents meet whatever goals are eventually set.
Water-use efficiency is an important element in ensuring water supply reliability for the San Diego region, and the Water Authority has been a water-use efficiency champion since the early 1990s.
o Per capita potable water use in the region has declined 47 percent between 1990 and 2017.
o Water use in San Diego County is projected to remain about 10 percent below earlier projections through 2040 due to efficiencies that have become standard practice at homes and businesses countywide.
o The vast majority of county residents agree that efficient water use is a civic duty, and they continue to follow best practices for minimizing water waste.
o The Water Authority continues to offer resources to promote water-use efficiency as a way of life in San Diego County.
Vallecitos' wholesaler, the San Diego County Water Authority, is committed to working with state officials to ensure the regulations are implemented equitably and reasonably to reflect local conditions.