State Water Board Adopts Monthly Water Use Reporting Requirements

By on April 23, 2020

California’s largest urban retail water suppliers are back to being required to report monthly water use per a new regulation adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).

At a meeting earlier this week, the SWRCB adopted a regulation that requires California’s 400 largest water systems – representing 90 percent of the state’s population – to report monthly water use totals.

This data will help water managers, policy makers, researchers, and Californians alike track statewide and local water use, and, when needed, take quick action to respond to changing water supply and climatic conditions.

During the last drought, the SWRCB passed emergency regulations that mandated monthly reporting requirements. During that time, when mandatory water conservation was in place, California’s water use dropped by 22.5 percent.

“As we continue to see, the quality, timeliness, and gathering of data are critical to managing California’s water in the 21st century,” said State Water Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel. “Urban monthly water use data have driven enduring, widespread, public awareness and understanding of water use, conservation and efficiency in our state. Although challenging and difficult, the state’s last drought changed the way Californians view their everyday role in ensuring a resilient water supply. As Californians have come to know, efficiency is a way of life when the next drought is always around the corner.”

The permanent reporting requirements are part of a long-term plan to better prepare the state for future droughts and Make Conservation a California Way of Life.

Following the Board’s adoption, the permanent regulation mandating monthly reporting will undergo review by the state’s Office of Administrative Law and is expected to take effect Oct. 1, 2020.

The new regulation will be reviewed by California’s Office of Administrative Law and is expected to go into effect on October 1, 2020, which coincides with the new water year.