The State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution on water conservation for urban areas after receiving consistent pushback on the rule for placing severe costs on local water providers, estimated at $4.7 billion through 2050. 

SWRCB said the goal of the regulation is to “achieve long-term water use efficiency with the purpose of adapting to climate change by establishing unique goals for each urban retail water supplier in California.”

District suppliers are required to annually report their compliance and establish specific water use objectives and commercial, industrial and institutional performance measurements, beginning Jan.1, 2025. 

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Several providers addressed the board during a hearing last week, both praising the “common ground” established in the multiple revisions of the regulatory text while stressing the need for additional technical and financial support for individual districts. 

Andrea Abergel from the California Municipal Utilities Association reiterated the need for suppliers to have flexibility in meeting regulatory obligations, given the “lofty goals in the proposed regulation.” 

Starting January 2027, suppliers will be required to annually report how their district is complying with their water use objectives.