Statewide Water Conservation Regulations & Drought Response

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On April 1, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order requiring, for the first time in the State’s history, mandatory water conservation. The Governor directed the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), to take immediate action to safeguard the remaining potable urban water supplies in preparation for a possible fifth year of drought. In accordance with Executive Order, the SWRCB on May 5, 2015 approved the following emergency regulations and on May 18, 2015 the State’s Office of Administrative Law adopted them into law.

Prohibited for Everyone 

  • Using potable water to irrigate ornamental turf on public street medians 
  • Using potable water to irrigate landscapes of new homes & buildings inconsistent with CBSC & DHCD requirements 
  • Using outdoor irrigation during & 48 hours following measurable precipitation 
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water 
  • Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars 
  • Runoff when irrigating with potable water 
  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks & driveways 

Required for Water Suppliers

  • Achieve designated conservation standard (4%-36%) 
  • Notify customers about leaks that are within the customer's control 
  • Report on water use, compliance & enforcement 

Required for Business 

  • Hotels and Motels must provide guests with the option of not having towels & linens laundered daily
  • Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request 

Each agency was assigned a “designated conservation standard” based on an average residential usage between the months of June 2014 and September 2014. The City of Newport Beach received a 28% designated reduction target. The targets are to be achieved and measured monthly, however penalties will be assessed on the cumulative average between June 2015 and February 2016. (Note: The State extended water conservation efforts until October 2016). The reduction targets are measured by calculating the monthly residential gallons per capita per day (R-GPCD) and comparing it to the same month in 2013.Under the new regulations, all agencies must report on a monthly basis the overall water production, residential percentage of usage, service population, and all enforcement actions. The State then calculates the R-GPCD results.