State Releases Draft Framework for Permanent Conservation Standards

On November 30, the State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Water Resources, California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Energy Commission released their draft framework for permanent conservation standards, as required by Governor Brown’s executive order to "Make Water Conservation a California Way of Life." After comments are received by the State on the draft plan, we expect the State to issue the final framework in January. For now, we’d like to share our thoughts and expectations regarding the conservation standards, both now and in the future, with our customers:

  • We are currently reviewing the State’s draft framework for permanent conservation standards; however, we fully support making water conservation a California way of life. Our team is reviewing the plan and will prepare comments to submit to the State by its December 19 deadline.
  • For many years now, we have offered a robust water conservation program that provides water-saving solutions for all of our customers, and to also keep water loss in our systems at a minimum through leak detection methods and monitoring systems. We will continue to work toward the goals of achieving greater water-use efficiency and minimizing water loss in our service area.
  • Final water-use targets for 2025 will be developed over the next few years, and we expect that the targets will include standards for residential indoor water use, outdoor irrigation water use, and water loss by water suppliers, as well as performance measures for non-residential water users.
  • We also expect the target to build upon the State’s 20×2020 law, in which water suppliers must reduce water use 20% by 2020 in their service areas. Each of our service areas are currently already meeting their 2020 goal, and we will work to ensure we meet the 2025 target required by the State.
  • Cal Water updates our districts’ Conservation Master Plans and long-term Urban Water Management Plans every five years to make any adjustments needed to meet current and future conditions locally. We follow these plans, which were last updated this year, to ensure we are prepared to meet customer demand during continued and future droughts and other potential water shortages. The State will also be developing strengthened requirements for suppliers’ Water Shortage Contingency Plans, which we are well-prepared to implement due to our existing planning efforts.

Annual district conservation reports, plus each district’s Conservation Master Plan are available online: