State Water Board Adopts Emergency Water Use Regulations by ACWA Staff Jan 5, 2022 Water News The State Water Resources Control Board on Jan. 4 adopted emergency regulations to prevent wasteful water uses and promote urban water conservation during the current drought emergency. The regulations are expected to go into effect by mid-January, following approval by the Office of Administrative Law, and will remain in effect for one year. Water agencies are expected to enforce the regulations, which prohibit certain actions including the use of a hose to wash motor vehicles unless fitted with a shut-off nozzle, using potable water to wash sidewalks or driveways and applying potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes incidental runoff onto adjacent properties or walkways. A full list of prohibitions is available in the draft emergency regulations and the final version of the adopted emergency regulations is expected to be available on the State Water Board website soon. The draft regulations were updated to include recommendations that ACWA and the California Water Association advocated for in a comment letter submitted Dec. 22, 2021. This includes changes to reduce potential impacts to shade trees, special landscape areas and construction work. ACWA continues to encourage the State Water Board to defer to urban retail water suppliers’ Water Shortage Contingency Plans and other local ordinances to respond to drought. ACWA also continues to actively encourage member agencies to help their customers reduce water usage to achieve the Governor’s voluntary 15% reduction, understanding that many water agencies have higher conservation goals and mandates in place. The statewide Save Our Water campaign, in partnership with ACWA, has created several customizable communications tools that ACWA member agencies can utilize to help their customers reduce water use and, at a minimum, meet the Governor’s conservation goal. The tools are available to members online.