California Moves to Implement New Hard Limits on Water Usage

[Photo Credit: By Matthew Bowden -, Attribution,]

A first-of-its-kind regulation that will place long-term restrictions on annual water usage for the state’s urban utilities has now reportedly been adopted by California officials.

On Wednesday, the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously approved comprehensive conservation measures that, by 2040, will attempt to save approximately 500,000 acre-feet of water annually.

According to the rule, the biggest providers of water in the state must determine their own water budgets using data from irrigation meters specifically designed to track residential indoor and outdoor water use as well as commercial, industrial, and institutional landscape consumption.

The Office of Administrative Law must still grant final approval to the new rules.

The California state Legislature enacted several laws in 2018 that resulted in the new regulations.

According to the board, the resulting budgets, dubbed “urban water use objectives,” will have progressively more stringent requirements starting in 2027 and continuing through 2040.

With the use of instruments like outreach, education, leak detection, subsidies, and the installation of energy-efficient appliances, water suppliers will be able to tailor their efforts to their local issues.

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