At this writing, the state is considering water use targets for
each of the 411 reporting water suppliers, based on indoor
water usage, outdoor water use budgets, and water loss targets, along with water use standards for commercial, institutional, and industrial water users.
IOUs are already taking actions to prepare for the future by
increasing the diversity of available sources of supply; investing
in local drought resiliency infrastructure such as desalination
and groundwater storage facilities; investing in technology that
will help reduce water waste and water losses; and providing
ongoing customer education focusing on water use efficiency.
The water IOUs are also working with the California Public
Utilities Commission to develop necessary regulatory mechanisms, determine necessary investments, and capitalize on the
inherent efficiencies and expertise of their employees to ensure
they are well-positioned to react and adapt to the state’s long-term conservation regulations, as well as whatever Mother
Nature has in store for us all in the foreseeable future. WW
About the Author: Jack Hawks is the executive director of the California Water Association, a consortium of investor-owned water utilities providing water utility services to customers throughout California.
Circle No. 241 on Reader Service Card
withstand three years of continuous drought and orient their
existing conservation goals and programs accordingly.
Depending on precipitation levels in the October-December
2016 time frame, the Water Board will determine whether to
reimpose the mandated reductions by January 2017.
California is preparing for the future by developing long-
term drought management and conservation regulations.
Among the permanent fixtures in the long-term regulations
will be prohibitions on:
• Using potable water to wash driveways and sidewalks
• Using garden hoses with no automatic shut-off valves to
• Using potable water for decorative fountains that do not
have a recirculating feature
• Using outdoor irrigation on lawns during or within 24 hours
of a measurable precipitation event
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