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CPUC ORDERS WATER COMPANIES TO IMPLEMENT 25 PERCENT CONSERVATION MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO DROUGHT

PRESS RELEASE
Docket #: Res W-5041

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 2015 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today ordered the water companies under its jurisdiction to comply with emergency water use regulations adopted by the state Water Resources Control Board on May 5, 2015, as the state works to safeguard California’s remaining potable urban water supplies in preparation for a possible fifth year of drought.

The CPUC oversees 113 investor-owned water utilities that provide water service to approximately 16 percent of California’s residents. The CPUC today ordered these companies to comply with the state Water Resources Control Board’s adopted measures, which were in response to Governor Brown’s April 1, 2015, Executive Order mandating a 25 percent reduction in water use statewide for all urban water users compared with 2013 usage.

“We are in a drought emergency and need to take bold action. While water still flows to most taps today, the hard work to manage scarce water resources masks the dwindling supply in rivers, reservoirs, and underground storage basins,” said Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval.  “Treat the drought like an 8.0 earthquake in your community.  Take dramatic steps to conserve water or face enforcement to ensure conservation mandates are met.”

The conservation savings for water companies serving more than 3,000 connections take effect June 1, 2015. Water companies serving 3,000 or fewer service connections must reduce water use by 25 percent by restricting outdoor irrigation to no more than two days per week, or implement other mandatory restrictions to achieve the necessary water savings.

As the state and its residents come together to support water saving efforts, the following prohibitions will be in place:

  • Irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians; and,
  • Irrigation with potable water outside of newly constructed homes and buildings not in accordance with emergency regulations or other requirements established by the Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

These prohibitions are in addition to the existing restrictions that prohibit:

  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways;
  • Allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water;
  • Using hoses with no automatic shut-off nozzles to wash cars;
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water;
  • Irrigating outdoors during and within 48 hours following measureable rainfall; and,
  • Restaurants serving water to their customers unless the customer requests it.

Additionally, hotels and motels must offer their guests the option to not have their linens and towels laundered daily and prominently display this option in each guest room.

For more information, please visit the state’s Emergency Water Conservation website.  To learn more about the state’s drought response, visit www.Drought.CA.Gov.  Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at www.SaveOurWater.com.

The Resolution voted on is available here.

For more information about the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

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