California SB 606 - Water Management Planning

California Senate Bill 606 - Water Management planning was enacted with contingency on the passage of Assembly Bill 1668, both addressing water conservation and drought resilience across the state. Both respond to Governor Brown’s 2016 Executive Order B-37-16 - “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life” which directs permanent changes to use water more wisely, eliminate water waste, strengthen local drought resistance, and improve agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.

SB 606 requires the State Water Resources and Control Board (Board) and Department of Water Resources to adopt water efficiency regulations, outlines requirements for urban water suppliers including urban drought risk assessments, and implements penalties for violations. The law contains directives on water shortage planning and water loss reporting for urban wholesale water suppliers, and offers a bonus incentive for potable reuse water.

SB 606 authorizes the Board to issue a regulation or informational order requiring a wholesale water supplier, urban retail water supplier, or distributor of a public water supply to provide a monthly report relating to water production, water use, or water conservation.

Urban water suppliers will be ineligible to receive any water grant or loan unless the urban water supplier complies with the following requirements relating to urban water management plans:

An urban retail water supplier must calculate an urban water use objective and its actual urban water use by no later than November 1, 2023, and by November 1 every year thereafter.

The urban supplier must also adopt a water shortage contingency plan as part of its urban water management plan - which must include annual water supply and demand assessment procedures, standard water shortage levels, shortage response actions, and communication protocols and procedures.

Urban water management plans must also contain a five-year drought risk assessment - up from 3 years.

SB 606 also provides a bonus incentive for the amount of potable recycled water used the previous year when comparing the previous year’s water use with the urban water use objective, of up to 10 percent of the urban water use objective.


Publication Date: May 31, 2018

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