Your voice for water efficiency

CalWEP Strategic Plan Goal #7: Define advocacy principles and activities to meet strategic planning goals.

CalWEP must represent the needs of its partners, and occasionally should express its views to state legislators, regulators, and water policy leaders.  National advocacy issues would be covered by the Alliance for Water Efficiency, but state issues are squarely in the domain of CalWEP and should be appropriately addressed.

State Policy Principles

  1. Support state SRF funding for water efficiency
  2. Support state sales tax holiday for purchase of water efficient products
  3. Support continued state income tax exemption for rebates and other incentives on water efficient products
  4. Support provisions in legislation and bond propositions that provide funding for water efficiency programs undertaken by water utilities
  5. Support water efficiency revolving loan funds
  6. Support adoption of state guidance for on-site non-potable water reuse as per SB 966
  7. Support funding for water efficiency programs with resource efficiency funding
  8. Oppose further reductions in CA Energy Commission Title 20 plumbing standards unless issues of impacts of diminished flows are addressed

Federal Policy Principles

  1. Support authorization and separate budgeting for the US EPA WaterSense product labeling program
  2. Support federal income tax exemption status for rebates and other incentives on water efficient products
  3. Support federal SRF funding for water efficiency
  4. Support federal funding and policies to reward water utilities that save energy with water efficiency and conservation programs

Current Advocacy Efforts


Support WaterSense!

We need your help! Supportive comments are needed in response to a Federal Register notice. 

On April 7, 2020 EPA announced in a press release that it has completed a review of WaterSense® product performance criteria, and decided not to make any changes in WaterSense specifications at this time. That review actually was required by America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), the 2018 law that statutorily authorized WaterSense after the program had operated at EPA for 12 years at the direction of both Republican and Democratic administrations.

At the same time, however, EPA said it is seeking to measure consumer satisfaction with WaterSense labeled products as a possible factor to be considered in future changes to WaterSense specifications. On April 10, 2020, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on this issue. The deadline for comments has been extended to July 24, 2020.

Learn More

Past Advocacy Efforts


AB 533 (Holden)

Income taxes: exclusion: water efficiency and storm water runoff improvement programs

California water agencies have been tasked to make water conservation a California way of life to help mitigate future droughts. This means increasing consumer rebate programs that save water year round. Assembly Bill 533 maintains the exclusion from gross income, under both the personal income tax and corporation tax laws, amounts received from any rebate, voucher, or other financial incentive issued by a local water agency for participation in a turf removal water conservation program. 

An exemption is necessary to develop and expand these proven water-saving programs. While CalWEP and the Alliance for Water Efficiency, along with our partners, simultaneously work to pass a similar tax exemption bill on the federal level, AB 533 will send a strong signal from California and is an important step in the overall effort to ensure that agencies who administer these rebate programs avoid having to issue burdensome 1099 tax forms to participating customers.

AB 533 is co-sponsored by California Water Efficiency Partnership, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and WaterNow Alliance

Download the Factsheet