California Water Board Considers Rules to Mitigate Wasteful Water Practices

Dec. 15, 2021

Wasteful water practices could soon be illegal in California due to drought conditions

The California Water Board announced that an emergency exists due to severe drought conditions and that adoption of proposed emergency regulations is necessary to address the emergency. 

In the spring and summer of 2021, Governor Newsom proclaimed a drought state of emergency for all counties in California, and his Oct. 19, 2021 proclamation urged Californians to step up their water conservation efforts. 

“Immediate action is needed to ensure water suppliers and all Californians are taking sufficient actions to conserve water and preserve the State’s water supply,” stated the Water Board. “On January 4, 2022, the State Water Board will consider a proposed resolution adopting emergency regulations. See files below for more information.”

Wasteful practices could soon be illegal in California due to drought conditions, with fines of up to $500 for violators, reported The Mercury News.

According to the proposed rules rolled out by the State Water Resources Control Board it would be illegal for anyone in California to:

  • Water landscaping so that more than incidental runoff flows into a road, sidewalk or parking lot
  • Wash a vehicle with a hose unless the hose has a shut-off nozzle;
  • Hose off sidewalks, driveways, patios and buildings “except in cases where health and safety are at risk;
  • Water grass or landscaping within 48 hours of rain;
  • Use water in decorative fountains or ponds unless they have a pump to recirculate it;
  • Irrigate grass on street medians with potable water;
  • And use potable water for street cleaning or construction “unless no other method can be used to protect the health and safety of the public.”

These rules would be up to local cities, counties and water agencies to enforce.

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Cristina Tuser