California cracks down on water use, $10k daily fines loom

California logo
Spread the love
  • Droughts and climate change prompt drastic water-saving measures in CA.
  • New regulations will be permanent if approved.
  • Hefty fines of $10,000 per day for non-compliant water suppliers.
  • Individualized water-use targets aim to save over 400,000 acre-feet by 2030.
  • Long-term conservation practices are prioritized over emergency cuts.

July 10, 2024 — California is stepping up water conservation, announcing stringent and permanent regulations to reduce water consumption in the face of persistent droughts and the looming threat of climate change.

Drought-Driven Regulations.

Called “Making Conservation a California Way of LifeOpens in a new tab.,” these regulations were adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board on July 3, 2024. They represent a major shift in the state’s approach to water management, mandating that urban water suppliers adhere to individualized water-use targets tailored to their specific service areas. The goal is to save 400,000 acre- feet of water by 2030.

Who’s Affected?

These regulations cast a wide net, impacting 405 cities and urban water suppliers. Suppliers, particularly those in water-stressed regions like the Central Valley, may be forced to significantly reduce water usage.

Failure to comply with these new regulations could result in fines of up to $10,000 per dayOpens in a new tab., underscoring the urgency and seriousness of California’s water crisis.

These regulations go beyond simply cutting back on water usage. They also encourage sustainable practices, such as using native and pollinator-friendly plants, promoting healthier soils through compost and mulch, and even re-evaluating rate structures to ensure fairness.

Implementation and Beyond.

Newsweek reportsOpens in a new tab., “It’s the first time that the state’s board has tried to introduce permanent water cuts, though formal adoption of the policy is now pending approval from the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). If approved, the regulation will come into effect by January 1, 2025.”

More information:  California State Water Resources Control Board’s Making Conservation a California Way of Life.


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.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 12, 2024 8:53 pm
Severe actions may help California reach its initial goal but, I am truly wondering if these 405 regions will be able to successfully be trained on how to use water differently. If this succeeds, I see it being enacted in other areas. Will public backlash help or hinder? It looks like there is a lot to be learned by watching and/or participating in these changes.

Recent Posts

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Skip to content