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 funding for water efficiency and conservation, including but not limited to bonds, grants, and state revolving funds
  2. Support funding for water efficiency programs with complimentary resource sector efficiency and management funding
  3. Support new and continued state income tax exemption for rebates and other incentives on water efficient products, programs, and measures
  4. Advocate for reasonable, cost-effective, and data-driven codes and standards to meet California’s long-term water supply strategies
  5. Support an integrated water resource management approach to manage California water resources, including but not limited to water recycling, potable reuse, conjunctive use, and nature-based solutions

Federal Policy Principles

  1. Support authorization and dedicated budgeting for the US EPA WaterSense product labeling program
  2. Support federal income tax exemption for rebates and other incentives on water efficient products, programs, and measures
  3. Support federal funding for water efficiency and conservation, including but not limited to bonds, grants, and state revolving funds.
  4. Support federal funding and policies to incentivize water utilities that save energy with water efficiency and conservation programs
  5. Support US EPA’s WaterSense in developing new, more efficient standards for products that meet or surpass California standards
  6. Support the US Department of Energy’s efforts to require higher water efficiency levels of products through the ENERGY STAR program

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

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