State Water Board Adopts Emergency Water Regulation

  • by ACWA Staff
  • May 24, 2022
  • Water News

SACRAMENTO – The State Water Resources Control Board today adopted a drought-related emergency water conservation regulation that places new requirements on urban water suppliers and new restrictions related to irrigation of non-functional turf. The regulation is expected to go into effect the week of June 6.

Three specific elements of the regulation include:

  • Requires urban water suppliers to implement, at a minimum, all demand reduction actions identified in Level 2 of their locally adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plans.
  • Requires urban water suppliers to submit a preliminary water supply and demand assessment to the Department of Water Resources by June 1, 2022.
  • Prohibits irrigation of non-functional turf with potable water in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sector. The ban on irrigation would include non-residential grass areas that are considered ornamental and not otherwise used for recreation or other community purposes.

The prohibition on irrigation of non-functional turf does not apply to residential customers, turf irrigated with recycled water or irrigation of trees and other perennial plantings. The prohibition does apply to homeowner associations’ common areas. Water suppliers are authorized to fine customers not in compliance.

State Water Board staff will be developing a detailed “frequently asked questions” document to help clarify the regulation specifics. Development of such a document was one of the recommendations made by ACWA in a written comment letter submitted jointly with the California Municipal Utilities Association in response to the draft regulation.

ACWA staff and a number of member agencies testified during the State Water Board meeting to urge a locally driven approach that recognizes local water supply conditions as opposed to a one-size-fits-all regulation.

Agencies also shared information about their conservation efforts and investments in climate resiliency, including the diversification of water supplies through potable reuse, increased storage, increasing use of recycled water and other projects.

Based on water agency and stakeholder comments, the State Water Board added some new changes to the proposed regulation during its meeting. First, the State Water Board clarified that if a water supplier has not submitted a Water Shortage Contingency Plan, and will be following the default Level 2 response actions outlined in the regulations, the limitation on outdoor watering two days a week is limited to potable water. Further, a limited exemption from the requirement to adopt Level 2 of locally adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plans was added. Finally, a small exception was provided for non-functional turf that meets certain drought-tolerance standards, among other more technical updates and changes.

An updated version of the regulation will likely be posted on the State Water Board’s website.

The proposed regulation was drafted in response to Gov. Newsom’s calling for Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15% compared to 2020 levels. The conservation request – extended by the March 28 Executive Order — applies to residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural and institutional water users. The State Water Board continues to track and report monthly on the state’s progress toward achieving the 15% reduction.

In addition, the State Water Board adopted emergency regulations to prevent wasteful water uses and promote urban water conservation that went into effect Jan. 18.

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Proposed Water Loss Performance Standards Comment Letter

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Proposed Water Loss Performance Standards Letter excerpt: The Association of […]

ACWA and CMUA Comments on Draft Fund Expenditure Plan

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Draft Fund Expenditure Plan for the Safe and Affordable Drinking […]

ACWA and CMUA Comments on Proposed 2022 Cost Assessment Changes

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: ACWA and CMUA Comments regarding the Draft White Paper Discussion On: Proposed Changes […]

SB 222 Veto Request (ACWA Letter)

Veto Request Subject: SB 222 (Dodd) – VETO REQUEST Letter excerpt: The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) respectfully urges […]

SB 222 Veto Request (Coalition Letter)

Veto Request Subject: SB 222 (Dodd) – REQUEST FOR VETO Letter excerpt: The undersigned organizations from the public water agency […]

2022 Water Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert – August 24 Version

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

2022 Membership Directory

ACWA’s latest member directory is now available to public agency members and associates. View the 2022 directory.

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Bay-Delta Plan Revised Draft Initial Biological Goals

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Bay-Delta Plan Revised Draft Initial Biological Goals Letter excerpt: The […]

SB 222 (Dodd) Floor Alert

Assembly Floor Alert Subject: SB 222 State Water Rate Assistance Program Oppose Unless Amended Letter excerpt: SB 222 would require […]

Updated PFAS Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Proposed Revisions to State’s Capacity Development Strategy for Public Drinking Water Systems

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Proposed Revisions to the State’s Capacity Development Strategy for Public Drinking Water Systems […]

Forest Health CEQA and NEPA Streamlining Trailer Bill Language – Support

To: The Honorable Toni Atkins and The Honorable Anthony Rendon Subject: Forest Health CEQA and NEPA Streamlining Trailer Bill Language […]

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
CVWD Board of Directors approves the 2022 Strategic Plan Update

On August 23rd at its regularly scheduled board meeting, the CVWD Board of Directors approved the 2022 Strategic Plan Update.  […]

Helix Water District Charging Forward With First Zero-Emission Truck

Helix Water District received its first all-electric, zero-emission, Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck — another milestone in the organization’s sustainability […]

After Nearly 30-Year Delay, Annual Littlerock Sediment Removal Starts

PALMDALE – A dump truck filled with 10 cubic yards of sediment rolled out of the Littlerock Dam on Wednesday, […]

JCSD Files Lawsuit Against 3M, DuPont, and Others Over PFAS Contamination

JURUPA VALLEY — Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) has filed a lawsuit through SL Environmental Law Group against 3M Company, […]

MSWD Board Appoints Robert Griffith to Fill Division 2 Vacancy  

During its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, the Mission Springs Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously (4-0) to appoint local […]

West Basin Announces New Assistant General Manager

The West Basin Municipal Water District Office of the General Manager is pleased to announce the promotion of Edward J. […]

EPA Announces $18 Million WIFIA Loan to Helix Water District

WASHINGTON – Today, at an event in Southern California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an $18 million Water Infrastructure […]

Governor Newsom Signs Climate Measures

MARE ISLAND – Today, California enacted some of the nation’s most aggressive climate measures in history as Gov. Gavin Newsom […]

September 16, 2022 ACWA News Available Online

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

PCWA Board Receives Update on Mosquito Fire

AUBURN — At the September 15 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board received […]

ACWA and Membership Prove Mettle During Tumultuous Legislative Year

Another session of the California Legislature came down to the wire with some wins earned in the late hours of […]

CVWD Approves Additional $3 Million for Water Conservation Programs

Coachella Valley Water District’s (CVWD) Board of Directors approved an additional $3 million to encourage customer participation in conservation rebate […]

September 2022 Priority Issues Update Available

The September 2022 Priority Issues Update is now available online to members. The update is a summary of the latest […]

Celebrate Water Professionals Appreciation Week Oct 1-9

California’s sixth annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week will kick off Oct. 1 and ACWA invites members to use an online […]

Otay Water District Poster Contest Winners Illustrate Saving Water During Drought

Five students from Chula Vista and El Cajon schools have been selected from 123 submissions as the winners of Otay […]