Water Conservation Portal

Water Conservation Emergency Regulations

This webpage summarizes details and updates on State Water Board emergency regulations that pertain to water conservation. The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) describes the emergency rulemaking process on the OAL webpage. An emergency regulation remains in effect for one year from the effective date, unless the State Water Board modifies it, readopts it, or ends it before then.

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  To report water waste, go to SaveWater.CA.Gov or contact your local water supplier, city, or county.

  Learn more about saving water and find a local water supplier at SaveOurWater.com.

  Local water suppliers may have adopted stricter water conservation measures than the State Water Board, so check with local agencies about their current restrictions.

Second Water Conservation Emergency Regulation of 2022 (May/June 2022)

On March 28, 2022, Governor Newsom directed the State Water Board (Board) to consider adopting an emergency regulation for urban water conservation. On May 24, 2022, the Board adopted an emergency regulation. On June 10, 2022, the emergency regulation went into effect. It will remain in effect for one year from the effective date, unless the Board modifies it, readopts it, or ends it before then.

Emergency Regulation Requirements (more in the documents below)

  • Commercial, industrial, and institutional decorative grass should not be watered*
  • Give all trees just what they need: avoid overwatering
  • Follow the local requirements of your water supplier
  • Urban water suppliers should implement all Level 2 demand reduction actions by June 10, 2022*

(* Note: Unless otherwise allowed in the regulation)

Emergency Regulation Documents

Timeline

  • April 21, 2022: Public webinar held for input based on a working staff draft of regulation text
  • May 13, 2022: Agenda item with proposed emergency regulation text posted on State Water Board website
  • May 24, 2022: Resolution and emergency regulation adopted during the Board meeting
  • June 10, 2022: Emergency regulation took effect, upon completion of Office of Administrative Law process

First Water Conservation Emergency Regulation of 2022 (January 2022)

Governor Newsom proclaimed a drought state of emergency for all counties in California, culminating, to date, with his October 19, 2021, proclamation, urging Californians to step up their water conservation efforts. The State Water Board found that an emergency existed due to severe drought conditions and that adoption of an emergency regulation was necessary. Immediate action was needed to ensure all Californians were taking sufficient actions to conserve water and preserve the State’s water supply. On January 4, 2022, the State Water Board adopted an emergency regulation. On January 18, 2022, the emergency regulation went into effect. It will remain in effect for one year from the effective date, unless the State Water Board modifies it, readopts it, or ends it before then.

Emergency Regulation Requirements (more in the documents below)

  • Turn off decorative water fountains
  • Turn off/pause your irrigation system when it's raining and for two days after rain
  • Use an automatic shutoff nozzle on your water hose
  • Use a broom, not water, to clean sidewalks and driveways
  • Give trees just what they need: avoid overwatering

Emergency Regulation Documents

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Contact Us

Media Contact:

Edward Ortiz, Office of Public Affairs
Edward.Ortiz@Waterboards.ca.gov

Water Conservation Emergency Regulations Questions:

Chris Hyun
(916) 322-9633
Christopher.Hyun@waterboards.ca.gov

Paola Gonzalez
(916) 322-8417
Paola.Gonzalez@waterboards.ca.gov

Emergency Rulemaking Archive

  The water conservation emergency regulations below are not in effect. They are listed here only for reference.

Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, on April 7, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. ended the drought State of Emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or right after rainfall. Executive Order B‑40‑17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. The Order also rescinds two emergency proclamations from January and April 2014 and four drought-related Executive Orders issued in 2014 and 2015. Executive Order B-40-17 builds on actions taken in Executive Order B‑37‑16, which remains in effect, to continue making water conservation a way of life in California. The State Water Resources Control Board maintains urban water use reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians. As directed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in Executive Order B-37-16, the Board will separately take action to make reporting and wasteful water practices permanent.

State Water Board Partially Repeals Emergency Regulation on April 26, 2017

The Executive Director for the State Water Resources Control Board rescinds the water supply stress test requirements and remaining mandatory conservation standards for urban water suppliers. The action was in response to Governor Brown's announcement earlier this month ending the drought state of emergency and transitioning to a permanent framework for making water conservation a California way of life. Current prohibitions against wasteful water use practices and requirements for monthly water use reporting remain in place.

Supporting Documents Process

Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, Implementing Executive Order B-37-16 On Wednesday, November 30, 2016, State Agencies released to the public a draft report for Making Water Conservation A California Way of Life. The Draft Report addresses elements of Executive Order B-37-16, which asked five state agencies to develop a framework for using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, strengthening local drought resilience, and improving agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning. The public agencies, including the Department of Water Resources, State Water Board, California Energy Commission, Public Utilities Commission, and Department of Food and Agriculture, will accept comments on the report through December 19, 2016 (please send all comments to: wue@water.ca.gov).

Self-Certification of Supply Reliability "Stress Test" Results - August 2016 State Water Board Adopts Emergency Regulation on May 18, 2016

Emergency Regulation and Implementation Supporting Documents

Process to Adjust February 2016 Regulation in Response to Precipitation Since February 2016

State Water Boards Adopts Extended Regulations for Water Conservation on February 2, 2016

Documents on Implementation of the Regulation

Emergency Regulations Supporting Documents

Public Workshop and Workgroup

Information in this section pertains to the rulemaking process for the emergency regulation that went into effect on May 18, 2015.