There is a rumor floating around that in 2020 residents are limited to using only 55 gallons of water per day and that Californians could be fined $1,000 for showering and doing laundry on the same day. This rumor is FALSE!
In May of 2018, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation (SB 606 and AB 1668) designed to guide the next generation of water conservation standards in the state. The overall goal is to make water conservation a way of life in California and a permanent part of the State’s culture in light of the state’s frequent cycles of drought.
Many details for implementing these new laws will be determined over the next several years, and there are no immediate impacts to customers. The laws provide a framework for water providers, like the City of Fountain Valley, to set new, permanent water use targets by 2022 that combine:
- An indoor standard of 55 gallons per person per day
- An outdoor standard for residential and commercial customers based upon our local climate and the amount of landscaped area
- A standard for water loss from leaks in the water system
These standards will be calculated and added together to create one overall target for each water provider. Individual customers will not be required by the state to meet specific targets.
There is nothing in the laws that specifies when or how often a person may shower or do laundry. The new laws provide an overall framework for setting and meeting water use targets at the water provider level. While the 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 will not be enforced on an individual basis.
In California, droughts are a part of life, and the next dry year is always right around the corner. The goal of these long-term targets is to inspire greater water use efficiency rather than mandate short-term cutbacks that require extreme measures such as not watering your lawn or flushing the toilet less.
The City of Fountain Valley looks forward to continuing our partnership with our customers to make water efficiency a way of life no matter the weather. To learn more about the City’s permanent water restrictions, available water efficiency rebates and turf removal, visit https://www.fountainvalley.org/199/Water-Division.
For more information about SB 606 and AB 1668, visit https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/publications_forms/publications/factsheets/docs/water_efficiency_bill_factsheet.pdf.