California extends water use restrictions but allows more flexibility

Feb. 4, 2016

Under the revised regulations, statewide water conservation is expected to exceed 20 percent compared to 2013 water use.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Feb. 2, 2016 — California’s State Water Resources Control Board has extended and revised emergency drought regulations on urban water conservation, according to a press release.

The new rules extend restrictions on urban water use through October 2016 while giving urban water suppliers more flexibility in meeting their conservation requirements, noted the release. Further flexibility will be considered once more complete water supply information is known in April.

“After four years of extreme drought, there is still a need for Californians to keep up their stellar conservation practices,” explained Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, in the release. “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.”

Because of the severity of the drought over the past four years, many of California’s reservoirs and groundwater basins remain depleted and there is a need for continued water conservation. Under the revised regulations, statewide water conservation is expected to exceed 20 percent compared to 2013 water use, stated the release.

But the State Water Board has also responded to calls for greater consideration of certain factors that influence water use in different parts of the state, such as hotter-than-average climate, population growth, and significant investments in new local, drought resilient water sources such as wastewater reuse and desalination.

As a result, some water suppliers will get a credit that lowers the overall amount of water they must save, reported the release.

You can find the entire release here.

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