As California experiences several consecutive dry days since the last sight of rain, and with hot temperatures pushing much of El Nino away from California and the Pacific Northwest, State Officials have extended and approved revisions to emergency regulations set in place for urban water use.
State-issued extensions will continue through October 2016, and now factor in new criteria that may help water districts meet revised conservation goals. Upon reviewing water supplier’s comments on the inability to reach previous conservation targets, the state has recognized and incorporated the effects of the following credits into conservation targets: hotter-than-average climate regions, population growth, and significant investments in new local drought-resilient water sources such as wastewater reuse and desalination.
These new credits will cause adjustments ranging from 2 to 8 percent and will reduce the conservation targets of many suppliers across the state of California. Depending on conditions, some water suppliers will automatically be credited while others will have to manually apply for targeted reduction revisions.
At the moment, it is unclear which cities will be approved for adjustments and how this will affect California’s overall conservation target of 25%. Nevertheless, it is important to note that before these adjustments were made, California was on target to meet the Governor’s conservation goal. This poses the question: Why make adjustments to conservation targets now? Instead, focus should be placed on specific water supplier conservation strategies. Especially when we are seeing so many examples of a disconnect amongst water suppliers and the cities they provide water to.
We, at Falcon, have seen the value of aligning these groups to create immediate water savings. There are many simple conservation strategies that work best when we work together. For example, changing out toilets, urinals, water coolers, shower heads, and faucets that do not meet current CEC State Efficiency Standards can help save the state 100 billion gallons, however, we need to combine our outreach efforts to make the public aware of the urgency, potential saving, and rebates available. If the state’s new efficiency regulations could take these strategies into account and make them common practice, we will see a positive shift in the states conservation efforts.
As we move forward, we should all look to collaborate where we can and share best practices on strategies that are cost effective and result in tremendous water savings.
We encourage you to stay tuned as we continue to report what reductions suppliers qualify for and how they vary across the State of California.