California is in another drought following two years of below-average rain and snow fall. During the last long-running drought that ended in 2017, the Governor called on residents to make conservation a way of life – even when we are not in drought. If we always use our water wisely, the resource will be available for future generations. Two laws passed in the last several years (AB 1668 and SB 606) are aimed at long-term conservation and drought preparedness. These bills provide a framework for statewide water savings.

These bills create new efficiency standards for indoor use, outdoor use and water lost to leaks. Local water agencies will set total water use goals that are based on the needs of their service area. Outdoor standards will take into account local weather, land cover and other factors. The bills also require water agencies to update their urban water management plans.

The State Water Resources Control Board will adopt the standards by June 30, 2022, following public and stakeholder feedback. Local water districts will begin calculating total water use goals for their agencies, based on the unique needs of their service area, in November 2023.

All residents will be asked to cut back on indoor and outdoor water use. The legislation sets a per-person water use goal of 55 gallons per day until January 2025 and 50 gallons per day by January 2030. However, this number will be aggregated across the service area and individual customers will not be required to save a set amount of water.

Rowland Water District will not measure or restrict the amount of water each individual customer uses indoors. The 55 gallons per day goal is aggregated across the entire service area. Rowland Water District tracks how much water is used by each household and that information is available on each customer’s bill.

Each individual uses a different amount of water each day, but the daily per-person residential water use in Rowland Water District’s service area is 76 gallons per day, including outdoor use, based on service-area averages reported to the State Water Resources Control Board in May 2019. Your water bill provides detailed information about water use specific to your household.

Water agencies that don’t meet their goals are subject to enforcement actions by the state. While all customers will be asked to do their part to conserve, individual customers will not be subject to enforcement actions from the state.

You can find water-saving tips, educational resources, and home water audit and rebate information at Rowland Water District’s conservation website at www.rowlandwater.com/conservation. Water waste is banned in California. Examples of water waste include runoff; using a hose without a shut-off nozzle; hosing off driveways, patios, sidewalks or other hard-surfaced areas; filling or refilling decorative lakes or ponds with drinkable water; use of decorative fountains without a recirculation system; unrepaired leaks or defective irrigation systems; and irrigating during or 48 hours after significant rainfall.

Rowland Water District is a leader in local resource management and is doing all it can to find alternative supplies, including expanding the District’s recycled water system. A fully expanded system will shift nearly one-third of the District’s total supply to recycled water, which is used for irrigation, construction, cooling towers and industrial processes. Learn more about water supply at www.rowlandwater.com.