The goal of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 was to make conservation a way of life in California. Whether or not you support the new water laws, it’s important to know how they affect you. Don’t worry, there are no new fines for individuals or households.
First thing’s first. Doing laundry and taking a shower on the same day is not going to get you a $1,000 fine—let’s squish that rumor right away. The new water laws in California have caused some confusion on how an individual’s day-to-day life will be affected.
What are the new water restriction laws?
Sen. Bill Hertzberg and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman authored Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668. The two bills were passed along party lines and signed into law. With all of the false information circulating in the media, it’s important to know the truth. Here is a cut-and-dried list of facts on the new water laws in California:
- Water service agencies are required to set area standards. Every year, water service agencies will calculate a water efficiency standard. It will be based on indoor residential water use, outdoor water use, and commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation.
- If they don’t meet the cumulative standard, agencies can be fined. Luckily, individuals will not be responsible for these fines. The State Water Board can fine water agencies up to $10,000 per day if they do not meet their cumulative standard.
- There’s a water-use target of 55 gallons per day, per person. Emphasis on target. This is not an enforceable standard for individuals in the state of California. It is simply an element used to calculate the efficiency standard for a service area, for instance. This target will go into effect in 2023, not 2020.
Why implement the new water tax in the first place?
The goal of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 was to increase water-use efficiency in the state of California, due to climate change. Climate change is requiring Californians to prepare for periods of limited water supply. The goal of these laws was to mend this issue, avoid drought, and make California a conservation-conscience state.
How will the new water restriction laws affect me?
Despite rumors, the state is not issuing fines to individual customers who violate the 55 gallon per day standard. There is no specific state-wide law that requires households to meet a specific target. This means there is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day, so there is no reason your personal hygiene has to suffer.
At the end of the day, you probably won’t notice much of a difference… unless you’re a water supplier. Although there is a water-use target number for individuals and households, there is no punishment for going over that number. Even though there’s no fine, it’s important to be as kind to Mother Nature as we can. Your friends at Mike Diamond are pros at efficient, conservation-conscience service—get in touch today!