Water Conservation Portal

California Statutes Making Conservation a California Way of Life

Climate change requires Californians to use water more wisely and prepare for more frequent and persistent periods of limited water supply. This page highlights water conservation and efficiency legislation that became effective after the 2012-2017 drought.

Index to Statutes

Information on other Laws and Regulations relevant to State Water Board activities.

Urban Water Use Objective

Aggregate Residential Indoor Use
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Aggregate Residential Outdoor Use
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Aggregate CII Outdoor Use
CII landscape areas with dedicated irrigation meters
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Aggregate Water Loss
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Aggregate Variances
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Bonus Incentives
Up to 15% of potable reuse water

Water Conservation and Drought Planning

Assembly Bill (AB) 1668 and Senate Bill (SB) 606-May 31, 2018
AB 1668 and SB 606 build on Governor Brown’s ongoing efforts to make water conservation a way of life in California and create a new foundation for long-term improvements in water conservation and drought planning. SB 606 and AB 1668 establish guidelines for efficient water use and a framework for the implementation and oversight of the new standards, which must be in place by 2022. The two bills strengthen the state’s water resiliency in the face of future droughts with provisions that include:

  • Establishing water use objectives and long-term standards for efficient water use that apply to urban retail water suppliers; comprised of indoor residential water use, outdoor residential water use, commercial, industrial and institutional (CII) irrigation with dedicated meters, water loss, and other unique local uses.
  • Providing incentives for water suppliers to recycle water.
  • Identifying small water suppliers and rural communities that may be at risk of drought and water shortage vulnerability and provide recommendations for drought planning.
  • Requiring both urban and agricultural water
    suppliers to set annual water budgets and prepare for drought.

Learn More

Public Process

Senate Bill 555 - October 2015

Senate Bill 555 requires the State Water Board to develop water loss performance standards for urban retail water suppliers between January 2019 and July 2020.

Major State Agency Tasks for Implementing SB 606 and AB 1668

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) have compiled an initial list of tasks with major deliverables and products to meet the new requirements associated with implementing AB 1668 and SB 606.

Table 1:  Major Tasks for DWR and State Water Board
Table 2:  Compliance and Enforcement Actions for State Water Board

Refer to statutes covering AB 1668 and SB 606 and AB555** for more complete information.  

 

Table 1: SB 606 and AB 1668 Major Tasks1 for DWR and State Water Board

Task # Description Deadline Agency(ies) CWC Section
Urban Water Use
1 May adopt regulation on monthly report relating to water production, water use or water conservation No date specified; After January 1, 2019 State Water Board 10609.28 SB
2 Streamline water suppliers' data reporting and make submitted data publicly available and accessible No deadline provided; begin data review and analysis July State Water Board and DWR 10609.15 AB
3 Recommend to Legislature feasibility of extending water loss reporting requirements to urban wholesale water suppliers January 1, 2020 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10608.35(a) SB
4 Adopt water loss standard for urban retail water suppliers July 1, 2020 State Water Board 10631(d)(3)(C) SB ;
10609.2 AB
5 Update UWMP Guidebook and Templates for new water shortage contingency planning, drought risk assessment, and other requirements (e.g., water loss standard implementation if not updated previously). No date specified; TBD, prior to July 2021 DWR 10632 SB ;
10631(d)(3) SB
6 Recommend to Legislature indoor residential water use efficiency standards based on indoor residential water use study January 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.4(b)(1) AB
7 Provide residential irrigable landscape area measurement to urban retail water suppliers January 1, 2021 DWR 10609.6(b) AB
8 Provide data regarding unique local conditions to support calculation of urban water use objective, including CIMIS dataset improvement and population data No date specified; TBD, prior to October 1, 2021, to match date for recommending standards DWR 10609(b)(2)(c) AB
9 Develop and recommend to State Water Board outdoor residential water use efficiency standards October 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.6(a)(1) AB
10 Develop and recommend to State Water Board CII water use standard for outdoor irrigation of landscapes with dedicated meters October 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.8(a) AB
11 Develop and recommend to State Water Board on CII performance measures October 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.10(a) AB
12 Develop and recommend to State Water Board on variances October 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.14(a) AB
13 Develop and recommend to State Water Board guidelines and methodologies for water use objective calculation October 1, 2021 DWR in coordination with State Water Board 10609.16 AB
14 Identify potential effects of standards on wastewater management, parklands, and urban tree health May 30, 2022 State Water Board 10609.2(c) AB
15 Develop guidelines, forms, and web portal for annual water supply and demand assessment report No date specified; TBD, prior to June 1, 2022 DWR 10632.1 SB
16 Adopt water use efficiency standards for outdoor residential water use and outdoor irrigation of landscape areas with dedicated irrigation meters in connection with CII water use and CII water use performance measures2 June 30, 2022 State Water Board in coordination with DWR 10609.2 AB ; 10609.10(d) AB
17 Adopt guidelines and methodologies for water use objective calculation, and variances3 No date specified; presumed by June 30, 2022 to match standard adoption and allow sufficient time for water suppliers to prepare their annual report by November 1, 2023 State Water Board 10609.2 AB
18 Prepare and submit to Legislature a report summarizing status of UWMP adoption July 1, 2022 DWR 10644(c)(1)(C) SB
19 Submit report to State Water Board on results of urban annual water supply and demand assessments and DWR analysis of regional and statewide water supply conditions. Annually on Sept. 30; starting 2022 DWR 10644(c)(1)(B) SB
20 Provide data to the Legislative Analyst Office for developing the review on implementation of urban water use efficiency standards for submitting to the Legislature No date specified; TBD, prior to, in advance of Legislative Analyst report to Legislature State Water Board and DWR 10609.30 SB
21 Chairperson of the State Water Board and Director of DWR Report on the implementation of the water use efficiency standards and water use reporting to the Legislature in the hearing before the appropriate policy committees of both houses On or around January 1, 2026 State Water Board and DWR 10609.32 SB
22 Develop report on small water suppliers and rural communities at risk of drought and water shortage vulnerability with website publication and notification to corresponding counties and groundwater sustainability agencies
January 1, 2020 DWR in consultation with State Water Board and other relevant state agencies and local government and stakeholders 10609.42(a) AB
23 Recommend to Governor and Legislature for addressing drought planning needs of small water systems and rural communities
January 1, 2020 DWR in consultation with State Water Board 10609.42(b) AB
Agricultural Water Use
24 Develop agricultural farm-gate delivery data submittal guidelines for annual report531.10(a)(1) AB No date specified; TBD, prior to Apr 1, 2019, reporting deadline DWR 531.10(a)(1) AB
25 Develop tools and resources to assist agricultural water suppliers in developing and quantifying components necessary to develop water budgets10826(c) AB
No date specified; TBD, prior to Apr 1, 2019, reporting deadline DWR 10826(c) AB
26 Develop tools to help agricultural water suppliers quantify efficiency of agricultural water use within their service areas10826(h) AB
No date specified; TBD, prior to Apr 1, 2019, reporting deadline DWR 10826(h) AB
27 Develop standardized reporting form for implementation of efficient water management practices and online submittal tool No date specified; TBD, prior to Apr 1, 2019, reporting deadline DWR 10608.48(e) AB
28 Update AWMP Guidebook10820(a)(2) AB No date specified; TBD, prior to Apr 1, 2019, reporting deadline DWR 10820(a)(2) AB
29 Prepare and submit to the Legislature a report on implementation of agricultural efficient water management practices December 31, 2021 DWR in consultation with State Water Board 10608.48(g) AB
30 Prepare and submit to Legislature a report summarizing status of AWMPs adopted.
Apr 30, 2022 DWR 10845(a) AB
Small Water Systems and Rural Communities
1 Develop report on small water suppliers and rural communities at risk of drought and water shortage vulnerability with website publication and notification to corresponding counties and groundwater sustainability agencies January 1, 2020 DWR in consultation with State Water Board and other relevant state agencies and local government and 10609.42(a) AB
2 Recommend to Governor and Legislature for addressing drought planning needs of small water systems and rural communities January 1, 2020 DWR in consultation with State Water Board 10609.42(b) AB
Agricultural Water Use
1 Develop agricultural farm-gate delivery data submittal guidelines for annual report In advance of report deadline of April 1, 2019 DWR 531.10(a)(1) AB
2 Develop tools and resources to assist agricultural water suppliers in developing and quantifying components necessary to develop water budgets Fall 2020 (sufficient time prior to April 2021 reporting deadline.) DWR 10826(c) AB
3 Develop tools to help agricultural water suppliers quantify efficiency of agricultural water use within their service areas Fall 2020 (sufficient time prior to April 2021 reporting deadline) DWR 10826(h) AB
4 Develop standardized reporting form for implementation of efficient water management practices and online submittal tool Fall 2020 (sufficient time prior to April 2021 reporting deadline) DWR 10608.48(e) AB
5 Update AWMP Guidebook Fall 2020 (sufficient time prior to April 2021 reporting deadline) DWR 10820(a)(2) AB
6 Prepare and submit to the Legislature a report on implementation of agricultural efficient water management practices December 31, 2021 DWR in consultation with State Water Board 10608.48(g) AB
7 Prepare and submit to Legislature a report summarizing status of AWMPs adopted April 30, 2022 DWR 10845(a) AB

 

Notes for Table 1
1.   The list of major tasks include tasks with major deliverables and products required by the new legislation, and other tasks deemed by DWR and the State Water Board necessary to implement the legislation. The detailed requirements on coordination with other state and local government agencies and stakeholders are not elaborated in the list but will be incorporated in task execution.
2.   The standard for a water loss volume was adopted in 2020 (see task #6).
3.   State Water Board may continue to adopt additional acceptable variances afterward, if warranted.

KEY for Table 1:

AB = Assembly Bill 1668, AWMP = Agricultural Water Management Plan, CII = commercial, industrial, and institutional, CIMIS = California Irrigation Management Information System, CWC = California Water Code, DWR = California Department of Water Resources Water Code, Legislature = California State Legislature, State Water Board = State Water Resources Control Board, SB = Senate Bill 606, UWMP = Urban Water Management Plan

 

Table 2: Compliance and Enforcement Actions for State Water Board

Item # Description Deadline CWC Section
1 Provide progressive enforcement: May issue informational orders On or after November 1, 2023 10609.26(a)(1) SB
2 Provide progressive enforcement: May issue written notices On or after November 1, 2024 10609.26(b) SB
3 Provide progressive enforcement: May issue conservation orders On or after November 1, 2025 10609.26(c)(1) SB
4 Provide progressive enforcement: May impose civil liability (fine) for a violation of regulation After November 1, 2027 1846.5(b)(2) AB

KEY for Table 2:

AB = Assembly Bill 1668; CWC = California Water Code, DWR = California Department of Water Resources Water Code, State Water Board = State Water Resources Control Board, SB = Senate Bill 606

 

 

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