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State Water Board Releases Draft Proposed Water Waste Regulation

The State Water Resources Control Board on November 1, 2017 released its draft proposed regulation to implement permanent prohibitions against certain wasteful water use practices, as directed by Gov. Jerry Brown under executive orders B-37-16 and B-40-17.

According to the State Water Board, the agency is conducting the rulemaking process under its “Waste and Unreasonable Use” authority as part of the Administration’s framework to make conservation a “California Way of Life.”

Under the proposed regulation, the following practices would be prohibited:

  • The application of water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff;
  • The use of a hose to wash an automobile except where the hose is equipped with a shut-off nozzle;
  • The application of potable water to hardscapes;
  • The use of potable water in non-recirculating ornamental fountains or other decorative water features;
  • The application of water to outdoor landscapes during or within 48-hours after measurable rainfall; and
  • The irrigation of turf on public street medians and verges unless the turf serves a community or neighborhood function.

The proposed regulation also prohibits serving water except when requested in restaurants and bars, and requires the operators of hotels and motels to offer patrons the option of not having their towels and linens washed daily.

On Nov. 21 the State Water Board will host an informational public workshop with opportunities for the public to provide input on the proposed regulation.  The meeting notice, which includes information about the formal comment period, is available here. Comment are due by 12 p.m. on Dec. 26.

According to State Water Board staff, following its public comment period the revised final draft of the regulation is expected to be available in January, with the adoption of the regulation anticipated by February 2018 to allow the regulation to become effective by April 1, 2018.

For more information on the proposed rulemaking, please visit the State Water Board’s Regulation on Waste and Unreasonable Water Uses webpage.