State Water Board Proposes Extended Regulations
State Water Board Proposes Extended Regulations

State Water Board Proposes Extended Regulations

Late last Friday the State Water Resources Control Board released their draft emergency conservation regulations that extend the existing urban water use restrictions through October 31, 2016 with some slight modifications.

Local water suppliers have raised many concerns regarding the May 2015 Emergency Regulation and SWRCB has addressed some of those concerns in their latest draft.

The proposed Emergency Regulation will essentially extend the existing May 2015 Emergency Regulation.  Proposed changes to the May 2015 Emergency Regulation include:

  • Credits and adjustments to urban water suppliers’ conservation standards that consider the differences in climate affecting different parts of the state; growth experienced by urban areas; and significant investments that have been made by some suppliers toward creating new, local, drought-resilient sources of potable water supply
  • Penalties for homeowners’ associations or community service organizations impeding homeowners from reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns during a declared drought emergency, as described in existing Civil Code provisions
  • Further defining what agricultural uses may be subtracted from a supplier’s potable water production total
  • Updates to compliance and reporting timelines

The proposed Emergency Regulation also maintains the current prohibitions on water use.

  • Irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians is prohibited
  • Irrigation with potable water outside of newly-constructed homes and buildings not in accordance with emergency regulations or other requirements established in the California Building Standards Code is prohibited.
  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways
  • Allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water
  • Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water
  • Irrigating outdoors during and within 48 hours following measureable rainfall
  • Restaurants from serving water to their customers unless the customer requests it

SWRCB will consider adoption of the proposed Emergency Regulation at its February 2 public meeting.  Anyone wishing to comment must e-mail the Clerk to the State Water Board at [email protected].

SWRCB also states that if conditions permit they will adjust or eliminate the Emergency Regulation.

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