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California Regulation Restricts Certain Uses of Potable Water

A new State Water Resources Control Board emergency regulation recently went into effect on June 10, 2022 for water conservation. (23 C.C.R. § 996.)  This comes on the heels of the first emergency regulation for the current drought, effective January 18, 2022, implemented to curb wasteful water practices following Governor Newsom’s October 19, 2021 proclamation of a statewide drought emergency. 

The June 2022 regulation prohibits the use of potable water to irrigate non-functional turf (defined as mowed grass) at commercial, industrial and institutional sites, and common areas managed by homeowners’ associations. Penalties for a violation include a $500 per day fine.  Watering grass used for human recreation or community activities and watering residential grass and trees is not prohibited by the regulations. The regulation does not prohibit the use of recycled water to irrigate non-functional turf. Urban water suppliers with Water Shortage Contingency Plans must implement appropriate conservation measures and submit supply and demand assessments to the Department of Water Resources.

Also, suppliers without drought plans must conduct outreach to customers about conservation, restrict outdoor irrigation to two days a week, prohibit landscape irrigation with potable water from 10 am to 6 pm, and enforce rules against wasteful water use. Water suppliers must communicate the requirements of the new regulation to customers. This regulation is effective until June 10, 2023.

Aleshire & Wynder LLP provides unparalleled legal representation to local communities throughout California.  Our attorneys have been loyally serving public agencies for over 35 years. For further information, please contact Christine Carson from Aleshire & Wynder, LLP’s Water Law Practice Group at (310) 527-6660.

This communication is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communication. Facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein.