Facts About the New Water Use Laws
By now many of you may have heard about the two new laws passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor related to water use efficiency. Assembly Bill 1668 and Senate Bill 606 work in concert to establish a new regulatory structure that seek to increase water use efficiency in the State. While the details of the bills would take up more space than we have here, they generally mandate local water districts work to establish water budgets for their customers.
Before getting into the details, it is important to note that Rainbow Board of Directors opposed this legislation as it went through the capitol and will do whatever we can to reduce the impact of these new laws on our ratepayers. In general, the Board feels trying to mandate water use from afar is nearly always a very bad idea.
The laws will set a standard for indoor use of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor use only. The State is then going to somehow figure out what the “appropriate” amount of outdoor irrigation will be allowed. We have no idea how they are going to do this – it will take several years to figure this one out. Their goal is to set a water budget for each and every property in the state that is connected to a public water system – a daunting task indeed. This outdoor budget will be based on irrigable acres of land so our larger lots should fare better than some urban areas, but it is unclear how all this will work.
There is no need to panic now. While the law was passed, it does not go into full effect for some time as there is a lot of work to do figuring out how to implement it. There is really nothing for RMWD to enforce now and we have no plans to put any enforcement into place at this time. It is not illegal to take a shower and do your laundry on the same day! We want everyone to use water wisely but use what you need for your family and property.