Emergency Water Use Regulations

What this means for Cal Water and our customers

On July 15, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) approved emergency regulations to increase water conservation by water utilities and their customers. In this action, the Board approved its prohibited water uses and the use of fines of up to $500 per customer violation. The Board’s goal is that water utilities have an effective plan in place to curb wasteful water use.

Cal Water has already included each of the Board’s prohibited water uses, plus additional unauthorized uses, in our Rule 14.1, “Water Conservation and Rationing Plan.” Rule 14.1 was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission on April 1, 2014 and made effective May 1, 2014.

We are currently working to achieve compliance through customer education, such as bill inserts, newspaper ads, direct mail, radio ads, TV and movie theater PSAs, restaurant table tents, and billboards. Rule 14.1 includes possible additional enforcement mechanisms, and we will coordinate with the CPUC and local entities to consider additional enforcement, if necessary.

Cal Water is committed to helping our customers conserve water and save our planet’s precious resource. In our service areas, we are working diligently with our customers to meet or surpass 20% by 2020 savings requirements. We have an industry-leading conservation program and offer a range of tools to help customers reduce their water use, including high-efficiency toilet rebates, high-efficiency clothes washer rebates, rebates on outdoor efficiency devices, high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles at no charge (in most districts), conservation kits, fact sheets, how-to videos, and annual local conservation reports.

For additional unauthorized water uses in Cal Water’s Rule 14.1, current information about the State Water Board’s actions, and other drought-related information, please visit our Drought update page.

State Water Resources Control Board prohibited water uses

  • Application of water to outdoor landscapes that causes runoff onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures
  • Use of a hose to wash vehicles, except where the hose has a shutoff nozzle
  • Application of water to any hard surface (driveways, sidewalks, asphalt)
  • Use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system