We must meet a state-mandated 20 percent reduction in per capita water use by 2020 – a requirement that was enacted by state legislation (SBx7-7) in 2009, predating the current drought.
Our local water agencies have met the state benchmark for progress: 10% conservation by 2015. Our current drought helped us achieve this benchmark.
Additionally, the Governor has ordered further work in the next year on setting new conservation goals and standards that will go beyond the “20 percent by 2020” standard.
For the past year, you’ve asked us to meet a conservation target set by the State Water Resources Control Board. Now we no longer have to meet that target. Why should I still conserve?
While we no longer have to meet state imposed targets, the local water retailers advocate an ongoing ethic of water use efficiency — a long-term, sustainable approach, even in the absence of an event-driven (drought) emergency.
When people think of “conservation,” they tend to think of it as a temporary activity. We’re advocating “efficiency” as a way of life.
Here are a few things you can do to promote conservation as a lifestyle:
- Irrigation best practice: water your lawn in several short (2-3 minute) cycles, three times per week.
- This avoids runoff and allows for the water to sink deeply into the root zone, encouraging a healthy and sustainable lawn.
- It is also a best practice to water your lawn in the cooler parts of the day – between 2 A.M. and 6 A.M. when evaporation and winds are at the least.
As of May 2016, the following activities are permanently prohibited by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB):
- No washing down sidewalks and driveways;
- No watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
- No washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut off nozzle;
- No operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system;
- No irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation;
- Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request; and
- Hotel/motel operators must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.