The new regulation applies to California’s largest urban retail water suppliers — those with more than 3,000 connections or supplying more than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually. In total, these systems service 90% of California’s population.
On April 21, 2020, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted a regulation that requires California’s 400 largest water systems to report monthly water totals.
After passing a legal review, the requirements are expected to take effect October 1, 2020.
The new regulation states that data collected through this requirement will help water managers, policymakers, researchers and California citizens not only track statewide and local water use, but also make more informed decisions when responding to changing water supply and climatic conditions.
This new regulation builds on the state’s previous emergency regulations that mandated monthly reporting from June 2015 to November 2017 during the historic drought of that period. Since the conclusion of the drought, the reporting program has been voluntary, but Californians have continued to use, on average, 20% less water when compared to the 2013 pre-drought baseline. The permanent reporting requirements are part of a long-term plan (the Water Resilience Portfolio in response to EO N-10-19) to better prepare California for droughts and Make Conservation a California Way of Life (EO-B -37-16) through improved water resiliency, including timely and comprehensive water use data.