California Gov. Brown Signs Water Efficiency Bills

The two bills will establish an indoor per person water use goal of 55 gallons per day until 2025, 52.5 gallons from 2025 to 2030, and 50 gallons beginning in 2030, and they will create incentives for water suppliers to recycle water.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills, SB 606 and AB 1668, into law on May 31. They're intended to help the state better prepare for droughts and climate change by establishing statewide water efficiency standards.

"In preparation for the next drought and our changing environment, we must use our precious resources wisely. We have efficiency goals for energy and cars – and now we have them for water," Brown said.

SB 606 by State Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and AB 1668 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) set guidelines for efficient water use and a framework for the implementation and oversight of the new standards, which must be in place by 2022. The two bills will:

  • Establish an indoor per person water use goal of 55 gallons per day until 2025, 52.5 gallons from 2025 to 2030, and 50 gallons beginning in 2030
  • Create incentives for water suppliers to recycle water
  • Require both urban and agricultural water suppliers to set annual water budgets and prepare for drought

"This is another important step in the legislature's focused effort to reengineer water policy away from crisis management and toward a 21st century approach. I want to thank the governor and his staff for their creative vision and my colleagues in both houses for their hard work to bring this across the finish line," Hertzberg said.

Friedman agreed, saying the governor "challenged every Californian to embrace water efficiency during the drought, and with his signature on AB 1668, we'll have the state working collaboratively with local governments and urban water suppliers to put in place water efficiency standards that will help every community focus on sustainability. It's a balanced approach that puts efficiency first and gives water agencies the flexibility to embrace innovation and tailor their policies to meet the unique needs of their community."

The full-text bills are available via this website.

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