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On May 31, 2018 Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two new bills that will require urban water providers throughout California to set new permanent water use targets for their service areas by 2022. Senate Bill 606 (Hertzberg) and Assembly Bill 1668 (Friedman) provide a framework for setting water use targets, as well as implementing and enforcing the new water use requirements.
There are no immediate impacts to customers. Over the next several years, specific water use targets will be set for a water provider’s overall service area (not on an individual basis) based upon the standards outlined in the laws. Once water provider-level targets are established in 2022 and implementation begins in 2023, water providers may choose to work with individual households and businesses to increase their water efficiency through available rebates, services and programs.
No. There is nothing in the laws that specifies when or how often a person may shower or do laundry. The new laws outline an overall framework for setting and meeting water use targets at the water provider level. While the laws’ framework does include a goal for individual indoor water use of 55 gallons per person per day beginning in 2022, this applies on an overall system-wide basis (and not an individual basis).
It’s important to note that the indoor target of 55 gallons per person per day is not a goal for individual water use but will be measured across a water provider’s entire service area and does not include outdoor water use. That said, water industry experts are projecting that many people are already meeting this indoor target or do not have far to go. The Alliance for Water Efficiency has an online water calculator that can estimate how much water a household uses indoors. You can find it at www.home-waterworks.org/calculator. Additionally, many water providers offer rebates for indoor fixtures like toilets and clothes washers to incentive customers to upgrade to more efficient WaterSense and ENERGY STAR labeled models.
There is no requirement in the new laws that individual households must meet a specific target. The new laws provide a framework for setting targets, but those will be applied on a system-wide basis, and progress toward achieving targets will be reviewed on a system-wide basis
While the new laws do not set specific water use targets for business, they do outline a framework for creating new water efficiency performance measures for businesses—these are recommended actions for specific business sectors to improve water efficiency over time. Performance measures will be determined over the next several years, and the process will include opportunities for public input.
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CalWEP FAQ [PDF]
CalWEP FAQ [PDF]
Infographic: Calculating Water Targets [PDF]
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