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  • State Water Resources Control Board Proposes to Continue and Add New Requirements to the Drought Emergency Water Conservation Regulations

State Water Resources Control Board Proposes to Continue and Add New Requirements to the Drought Emergency Water Conservation Regulations

March 09, 2015

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On March 6, 2015 the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) provided notice of proposed Emergency Regulations pertaining to the Prohibition of Activities and Mandatory Actions During the Drought Emergency. These proposed regulations readopt, and add to, the existing emergency regulations adopted on July 15, 2014. The emergency regulations will be considered by the State Board on March 17, 2015.

End-Users Requirements

The proposed regulation prohibits several activities in order to promote conservation, except where necessary to address an immediate health and safety needs or to comply with a permit term or condition. It readopts certain existing “end user” measures, including:

  • A prohibition on runoff of outdoor irrigation water
  • A prohibition on vehicle washing with a running hose (i.e., not equipped with a shut-off nozzle)
  • A prohibition on watering of hardscapes, such as driveways, sidewalks
  • A prohibition on the use of potable water without recirculation pumps for fountains 

New conservation requirements include: 1) a prohibition on outdoor irrigation of turf and ornamental landscapes during and shortly after measureable precipitation events, 2) a requirement that water only be served on request in restaurants, and 3) a requirement that the operators of hotels and motels provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily. A violation of any of these measures subjects the end user to a fine of up to $500 per day. 

Mandatory Action by Water Suppliers

The proposed regulation retains the existing requirement that urban water suppliers (3,000 or more connections) implement their Water Shortage Contingency Plans (WSCPs) at a level that restricts the number of days per week for outdoor landscape watering and to report monthly water production information to the State Board. Urban water suppliers may request approval of an alternative plan that includes allocation cost-based rate structures. New mandatory measures for urban water suppliers include: 1) limiting outdoor watering to two days per week if they do not have an approved WSCP, and 2) notifying their customers when aware of leaks within the customer’s control. Other public water suppliers are required to either limit outdoor irrigation or implement other mandatory conservation measures. 

For more information, please contact:

Nathan Metcalf

415-995-5838 Direct Phone
415-995-3562 Fax

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