Water Use Efficiency Legislation

Why SAWPA’s Water Use Efficiency Tools Are Necessary

In 2018, the California Legislature enacted two bills – Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668 – to establish new regulations for long-term improvements in water use efficiency. These two bills require urban water suppliers* to implement permanent water use reporting and meet agency-wide targets that will be enforceable in the long-term.

Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life Legislation (SB 606 and AB 1668)

Under the new laws, suppliers’ water use will be compared to a target that is calculated using the formula below. The legislation refers to this target as the “urban water use objective.” Instead of basing the target on prior use, as was done with the emergency drought regulations in 2015, the formula calculates the volume of water that is needed to efficiently meet the needs of a supplier’s customers.

The Urban Water Use Objective formula accounts for local conditions such as population, weather and irrigable area. It is important to have tools that can aggregate this data so the objective and water usage can be reported by water agencies to the State annually.

Urban Water Use Objective Formula (Simplified)

For a full explanation of the Urban Water Use Objective Formula, please see the Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life Primer available at the State Water Board’s Water Conservation Portal website:


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