Some news media reports have provided inaccurate information regarding water use targets set by Senate Bill 606 (Hertzberg) and Assembly Bill 1668 (Friedman). Neither bill sets fines on water customers for taking a shower and doing laundry on the same day, or for using more than 55 gallons of water a day.
Below are facts on the long-term water efficiency legislation that was signed into effect May 2018.
- Water agencies are required to calculate a water efficiency standard for their entire service area annually based on indoor residential water use; outdoor water use; and commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation.
- The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for individuals. It is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard for a service area.
- Individuals will not be responsible for State Water Resources Control Board fines. Instead, the State Water Board can fine water agencies up to $10,000 per day if the agency does not meet its cumulative standard.
- There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. There are no specific statewide laws that require individual households to meet any specific targets. The targets will be set for an entire service area and are scheduled to go into effect in 2023.
The State Water Board is working and collaborating with urban suppliers to implement the new efficiency standards. In addition to the 55-gallon standard, targets for outdoor water use and water loss due to leaks will also be determined. These three standards will be used to represent the overall water efficiency standards for each urban water provider. Padre Dam staff will be engaged in this process to help ensure the standards are reasonable and fair for our customers.
Padre Dam will provide more information as the State develops guidelines for implementation of the laws. Please visit www.padredam.org for updates or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about these new laws.