“Making Conservation a California Way of Life” rulemaking begins

A drought resistant landscape in California
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September 8, 2023 — California’s State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has taken steps towards enforcing water conservation in California by launching the rulemaking process for “Making Conservation a California Way of LifeOpens in a new tab..” There will be a public hearing next month.

Urban Water Use Objectives.

As part of the proposed regulation, urban retail water suppliers – not individual households or businesses – will be held to “urban water use objectives.” An urban water use objective is the sum of standard-based budgets for a subset of water uses, such as residential outdoor use. According to the Los Angeles TimesOpens in a new tab., if the new rules are adopted, California’s more than 400 urban water suppliers will need to come up with a new water-use budget every year beginning in 2025. If they fail to comply or meet their targets, the suppliers can face steep fines.

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)Opens in a new tab. and its member agencies and coalition partners have been highly engaged on the state’s pre-rulemaking efforts to inform the “Making Conservation a California Way of Life” regulation. ACWA will continue to advocate for a long-term water use efficiency framework that is feasible and cost-effective and does not impair water agencies’ ability to make long-term investments for climate resilience. is currently reviewing the draft and has indicated plans to submit both oral and written feedback.

Public Hearing and Comments.

The State Water Board has scheduled a public hearing for October 4. This session will not only present the proposed regulation but will also welcome oral feedback from concerned stakeholders. Additionally, written comments can be submitted to the State Water Board until October 17.

Useful Links and Resources.


Drought tolerant landscape containing succulents and other plants in a raised bed at Lake Chabot Public Market, Castro Valley, California, via Wikimedia CommonsOpens in a new tab..


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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Ivy Batriani
Ivy Batriani
September 9, 2023 4:15 pm
“The State Water Board has scheduled a public hearing for October 4.” I would like to see this, I’m going to find out if it will be available for viewing.

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