California: Water Conservation Legacy of Governor Jerry Brown

By Sheryl Hamlin

Not only did Governor Brown sign the landmark Strategic Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 for the management and sustainability of local groundwater, but in 2018 he signed a pair of laws for the preservation of locally delivered water supplies.

From the State website:

AB 1668 and SB 606 build on Governor Brown’s ongoing efforts to make water conservation a way of life in California and create a new foundation for long-term improvements in water conservation and drought planning. SB 606 and AB 1668 establish guidelines for efficient water use and a framework for the implementation and oversight of the new standards, which must be in place by 2022.

Source: Water Conservation and Drought Planning

Staff Presentation Summarizing Plans and Objectives to Implement Laws

As the timeline shows, the burden of implementation is a regional approach much like the SGMA Basin Management plans.

Source: Waterboard Staff Presentation

Basically, the two bills call for new efficiency standards, such as leakage. The State has issued this Fact Sheet:

Water Bill Fact Sheet: Water Efficiency Bill Fact Sheet

The next milestone is 2020 when each agency will present is own standards for implementation of these two bills. CalEPA held a meeting in late 2019 to hear public comments. See meeting notice here.

Efficiency Framework: Are you ready for $1000 fine?

The State envisions standards for both indoor and outdoor use. The challenge in such delivery is the metering to the individual user which does not delineate between indoor and outdoor usage, so some algorithm must be devised or new meters installed.

This article discusses the challenges to implementation of the 55 gallon per day specified in the bills for indoor use . And the 55 decreases to 50 gallons per day plus includes a $1000 fine.

Source: Efficiency Framework

When the local Water Board posts its implementation suggestions for this law, there will be an updated report.

To read previously published articles on SGMA, click here.

To read about the author, click sherylhamlin dot com


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2 Responses to California: Water Conservation Legacy of Governor Jerry Brown

  1. Maven January 20, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Absurd, really. 55 gallons/day limit? That will have some backpedalng.

    What did Moonbeam do to INCREASE water collection, storage and transmission during his 4 terms?

    He created the crisis he and Nuisance now claim to be solving,

    Reply
  2. Dr Edo McGowan January 19, 2020 at 10:11 am

    The laws controlling contamination of our water are and have been so confusing and undefined that the point has been reached that regulators have thrown up their hands in despair. Not only that, but polluting industries tend to protect this confusion through regulatory clientele capture and having the best politicians that money can buy. The populous has basically no standing, nor does water.

    Some California Supreme Court cases exacerbate this as seen in Hartwell. Momentary exceedences with a pathogen that is able to multiply can be devastating, but this went right over the head of the bench.

    Reply

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