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State Water Board readopts water conservation regulations

On May 9, 2016 Governor Brown issued an Executive Order calling for the State Water Board to adjust emergency water conservation regulations in response to changing water supply conditions across the state. The revised regulations allowed individual suppliers to self-certify that there would be no supply shortfall, even after three additional drought years. The current regulation is scheduled to expire Feb. 28 by operation of law if not readopted. However, the State Water Board voted to extend the regulation for an additional three months in order to get a full picture of the hydrological water conditions for 2016-2017.

So far, the state has experienced significant snow and rainfall during the 2016/2017 water year, causing many of the state’s reservoirs to shift to flood-control operations; however, some reservoirs remain critically low and groundwater storage remains depleted in many areas due to the continued impact of prolonged drought. Precipitation cannot be counted on to continue, and snowpack levels, while above average for the current time of year, are subject to rapid reductions as seen in 2016 and before. The full picture of the state’s hydrologic water conditions for 2016/2017 remains unclear and subject to a number of variables at least through the end of the spring.

Many California communities have faced and continue to face social and economic hardship due to this drought. Groundwater basins remain critically low in some areas, causing communities and well owners’ wells to go dry. The rest of us can make adjustments to our water use, including landscape choices that conserve even more water. Water can be conserved even when it’s raining, especially by turning off outdoor irrigation when the weather is providing ample irrigation. Water conservation is the easiest, most efficient and most cost-effective way to quickly reduce water demand and extend supplies, providing flexibility for all California communities.

Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.

Water Conservation Tip #85