California on the way to ease its strict water-saving standards

California on the way to ease its strict water-saving standards

Around a year after instructing residents to make lifestyle and landscaping changes consistent with drought-hit California’s limited water, state regulators are backing away from the strict water-saving standards.

The State Water Resources Control Board has issued draft revisions to its water conservation regulations that would allow water agencies to introduce their own standards for water consumption.

The revised rules would not require any one region of the state to slash water consumption based on the overall health of statewide water supply. Instead, individual water agencies in urban areas would be allowed to conserve water on a sliding scale tailored to local water supplies.

California Gov. Jerry brown said in a statement, “Californians stepped up during this drought and saved more water than ever before. But now we know that drought is becoming a regular occurrence and water conservation must be a part of our everyday life.”

Since June last year, urban Californians have been required to cut their water consumption by an average of 25 per cent statewide as compared with 2013.

The new proposed rule, if approved, would take effect on June 1 and last at least through January 2017. The State Water Resources Control Board’s shift from strict water-saving standards followed strong rains in the past winter. However, it is still unclear when the two restrictions, requiring restaurants not to serve water unless a customer asks and requiring hotels to encourage customers to skip daily linen cleaning, will be lifted.