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Making Conservation a California Way of Life

Making Conservation a California Way of Life aims to increase water efficiency across the state. Two bills (Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668) passed in 2018 that directed the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to develop regulations for the next generation of California water savings requirements.

On July 3, 2024, the State Water Board adopted the Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation. The framework aims to give each water agency an objective, or target, for residential and outdoor water use.

Making Conservation a California Way of Life contains three major components that affect urban retail water suppliers:

  1. A unique urban water use objective
  2. Commerical, industrial and institutional performace measures
  3. Annual reporting

The regulation appears to require DWA to make significant cuts to water provided in order to meet its objective. Early state estimates show DWA needing to meet a reduction of 20-30% – this is equivalent to removing all of the grass at Sunrise Park and the baseball field more than 30 times over.

DWA promotes conservation and invests in incentive programs. The community DWA serves has also invested heavily in effective water management for decades. The DWA team will work to meet regulation requirements and continue to help its customers save water. Learn more about how you can use water wisely and get information on available rebates at www.dwa.org/save

Timeline

January 1, 2025 – Regulation goes into effect, with state enforcement beginning in 2027.

July 3, 2024 – State Water Board adopted Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation.

June 14, 2024 – State Water Board released additional changes to proposed regulation.

May 20, 2024 – State Water Board released revised draft legislation.

March 12, 2024 – State Water Board released changes to proposed regulation.

January 4, 2024 – Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) issued a report that assesses early implementation of the legislation.

January 1, 2024 – Urban retail water suppliers required to begin submitting annual reporting requirements to the State Water Board and California Department of Water Resources.

December 2023 – Public Policy Institute of California issued an assessment of the draft regulation.

August 2023 – State Water Board released a draft regulation.

2018 – Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 signed into law.

DWA Comment Letters

Resources

State Water Resources Control Board Regulation Webpage

Objective Estimator Tool

Association of California Water Agencies Fact Sheet

DWA in the News

July 10, 2024 – NBC Palm Springs, The Roggin Report – Conservation Manager Clark Elliott discusses the Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation (starts at 6:54)

July 3, 2024 – Courthouse News Services – California water board implements new efficiency regulations (DWA quoted)

March 24, 2024 – Desert Sun – Desert Water Agency board president: California’s new regulation makes water future more secure
(Click here for PDF version)

March 21, 2024 – KESQ – Public Affairs Manager Xochitl Peña discusses Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation

Questions?

Contact us at conservation@dwa.org. For water conservation tips and rebate information, go to www.dwa.org/save