Gov. Jerry Brown holds a news conference at the state Capitol on Apr. 28, 2015 after meeting with California mayors about new efforts to help local drought relief programs. (John Myers/KQED)
Gov. Jerry Brown holds a news conference at the state Capitol after meeting with California mayors about new efforts to help local drought relief programs. (John Myers/KQED)

State regulators have come up with a “final” version of their gameplan to implement Governor Jerry Brown’s sweeping April 1 mandate to save water. This is the version that the State Water Resources Control Board will likely vote to approve during it’s two-day meeting next week.

The 31-point plan is aimed at cutting statewide water use by 25 percent on average, versus 2013 levels. It assigns local water agencies mandatory conservation targets based on how much water they’ve been using on a per-capita basis. The current range runs from a low of eight percent to a high of 36 percent monthly savings, starting this summer.

Individual cities and water districts have been lobbying for easier thresholds, touting their ongoing efforts to save water. But the newest revision of proposed state regulations appears to hold firm for the most part, on quotas that local water suppliers will have to attain.

One change allows local agencies to report total water use by commercial and industrial consumers, as opposed to breaking out the data by customer. Officials say they might revisit that once local agencies refine their data collection.

Just hours before the proposed regulation’s third iteration was unveiled, Brown emerged from a meeting with mayors from around the state with new legislation in hand that could help cities in their efforts to save water.

“There’s a lot to be done,” Brown told reporters, in California’s quest for drought resilience. The governor called this latest step, “another installment on a long enterprise to live with the changing climate and a drought of uncertain duration.”

The proposed legislation would add some “teeth” to local enforcement of new water conservation rules, including:

  • A new penalty of up to $10,000 per violation, up from the $500 per day maximum established last year
  • Broader authority to issue local fines without specific court approval
  • Latitude for local agencies to deputize “water cops” to enforce conservation rules

The legislation would also allow cities to fast-track environmental reviews for water-saving projects — but it did not appear that Brown was offering any easing of the new conservation quotas.

Regarding the steep jump in the maximum fine for water hogs, Brown said, “You can be sure that only the worst offender will be getting that.”

“Fines are a tool,” added Felicia Marcus, who chairs the water board. “And they’re the last tool you use.”

Marcus’ board will continue to take comments on the new drought regulations right up until the final vote, during a two-day meeting scheduled for May 5-6.

State Mostly Standing Its Ground on Tough New Water Rules 1 May,2015Craig Miller

  • DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    “FLYING WATER”, THE ONLY
    POSSIBLE PERMANENT LONG-TERM SOLUTION TO DROUGHTS/WILDFIRES!!!

    [PLEASE EXCUSE ALL CAPITALS DUE TO
    DUAL DISABILITIES: VISUAL AND MANUAL DEXTERITY]

    SIEGEL “FLYING-WATER”
    [GOOGLE: “EDWARD SIEGEL FLYING-WATER”;

    INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
    ALTERNATIVE-ENERGY, BAL HARBOR (1980)-VOLUME 5/PAGE 495[VERY HARD TO FIND
    EXCEPT BY E-MAILING CATEGORYSEMANTICS@GMAIL.COM FOR A COPY]; SEE ESPECIALLY SOME LONG CONTRIBUTIONS TO ANDY
    REVKIN’S DOT-EARTH BLOG SEVERAL YEARS BACK] HAS {IMPLEMENTED IN:
    INDONESIA(1977); ISRAEL(1977); BRAZIL(1979)} BEEN ALIVE BUT NOT SO
    WELL[PURPOSELY IGNORED BY: POLITICIANS, LOBBYISTS, VESTED INTERESTS IN
    CALIFORNIA

    [SAN FRANCISCO (1980-1992), SAN
    DIEGO (1997-2015), LAS VEGAS (2012-2014)

    FOR THREE DECADES NOW.

    FRESHMAN CHEMISTRY-101:

    TO MAKE NEW WATER IN NEW ARRID
    PLACES, ONE:

    ONLY WITH HYDROGEN!!!:

    (1)
    MAKES HYDROGEN [SOLAR ELECTROLYSIS
    OR PHOTOLYSIS OF SEAWATER, 2H2O=2H2+O2

    OR PERHAPS
    FROM OLIVINE
    [GOOGLE: “OLIVINE PRODUCED HYDROGEN”],

    OR FROM
    METHANE/NATURAL-GAS, CH4=2H2+C IN GREAT
    OVERABUNDANCE CURRENTLY

    THEN

    (2) TRANSPORTS HYDROGEN UPHILL VIA
    ARCHIMEDES MAXIMAL BUOYANCY TO HIGHER GRAVITATIONAL-POTENTIALS[TO MINIMIZE
    INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS, IN EXISTING PIPELINES-NETWORK USING SIEGEL PROPRIETARY
    MAGNETIC-HYDROGEN-VALVE/SWITCH OF SIEGEL GRANULAR GIANT-MAGNETORESISTANCE(GMR),

    THEN

    (3) BURNS HYDROGEN UPHILL

    THEN

    (4) LETS GRAVITY RECOVER MOST OF
    INPUT ENERGY IN HYDROELECTRIC-DAM SYSTEM

    ASIDE FROM SOME BAND-AID
    QUICK-FIXES,

    THERE IS SIMPLY NO OTHER WAY!!!

    SO, EVEN THOUGH I RESIDE
    THERE, I HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR ARID CALIFORNIA NOR NEVADA NOR THE
    SOUTHWEST!

    BIBLICALLY: “YE WHO IGNORE SUCH
    GIFTS, SO SHALL YE THIRST!”

    DR. EDWARD SIEGEL

    FATHER OF “FLYING-WATER”

    PHYSICIST/METALLURGIST

    CONTACT:

    PACIFIC-TIMES:

    (619)
    501-1200

    [NEVER AFTER 6:00M; NOT TUE/THUR
    AFTERNOONS UNTIL 5/9]

  • Craig Lewis

    After walking around the city of Petaluma, I see that the agencies that have not changed their use of water are all city government buildings and schools. Every school is an oasis of green surrounded by seas of homes with dead lawns. Even the Sonoma County Water Agency lawn is green. There is a only so much a home owner can save. It is time for business and government to turn of the water on landscaping too.

  • joe

    u know all of this is a bunch of bull didnt we invent something along time ago that changed salt water into drinking water and just recently honeywell perfected the system plus we can spend and ok petroleum and gas pipelines that spand across the country but are still having these issues, another way to screw the public for more $$$.

Author

Craig Miller

Craig is KQED’s science editor, specializing in weather, climate, water & energy issues, with a little seismology thrown in just to shake things up. Prior to his current position, he launched and led the station’s award-winning multimedia project, Climate Watch. Craig is also an accomplished writer/producer of television documentaries, with a focus on natural resource issues.

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