Water Use Objective Exploration Tool

About the Tool

This tool is intended to help all parties interested in the implementation of AB 1668 and SB 606 explore how forthcoming efficiency standards may affect urban water use. When users adjust the various parameters, the tool shows possible future scenarios and compares those to recent water use trends and the 2020 efficiency targets established by past legislation (SB X7-7, 2009).

The tool is not intended as a reporting tool, nor does it define what the forthcoming efficiency standards will be.

The tool is a work in progress and will be updated as more data become available. Feedback or corrected data are welcome and encouraged. Please e-mail the State Water Board’s conservation team at ORPP-WaterConservation@Waterboards.ca.gov.

  Water Use Objective Exploration Tool

  Using the Tool

Dashboard Tabs

Tool: Allows users to explore how adjusting different parameters could affect the resulting objective for any given urban retail water supplier.

Data Inputs: Summary of all data displayed in the "Tool" tab. The "Download Summary" button allows the user to print one or more of the tabs to PDF. Choose "Specific sheets from this workbook" to select more than one tab.

Glossary: Defines tool terms and provides data sources.

Help Tips

Hover over the question mark icon to view simple explanations of each tool parameter.

Making Conservation a California Way of Life

The Water Conservation legislation of 2018 (SB 606 and AB 1668) established a new foundation for long-term improvements in urban water supplier conservation and drought planning in order to adapt to climate change and the longer more intense droughts in California.

The 2018 legislation applies to the actions of the Department of Water Resources (Department), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), and urban retail water suppliers; it does not set any standards or rules for individual customer water use.

In carrying out the legislation, the Department will provide recommendations and the State Water Board will adopt long-term standards for the efficient use of water.

Later this year, the State Water Board will begin the formal rulemaking process for the regulation that will set the outdoor standards as well as establish how variances, the bonus incentive, and the urban water use objective will be calculated. The residential indoor standard is set by the legislature; the water loss standard will be set by the water loss regulation. 

The infographic below shows generally how the urban water use objective would be calculated each year.

An equation made up of three elements, a ribbon for Standards, A horse for Variances and a red checkmark for Bonus Incentive if applicable, summed together to equal the Objective, shown as an arrow hitting an archery target. The Yellow Standards ribbon is split into three sub-items, Indoor, Outdoor and Water Loss, symbolized by a home, a tree and a leaky water pipe. Outdoor Standards is further split into Residential Landscapes and Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) landscapes with dedicated irrigation meters.

The following components of a supplier’s urban water use objective either rely on surrogate data or are excluded from the tool at this time:

  • The budget associated with the standard for outdoor irrigation of landscape areas with Dedicated Irrigation Meters (DIM) in connection with Commercial, Institutional, and Industrial (CII) water use. Once the landscape area for CII landscapes with DIMs has been estimated, those data will be integrated into the tool. In the interim, the tool assumes this budget is equal to “landscape irrigation” deliveries, as reported by suppliers in the Electronic Annual Report.
  • The budget associated with the water loss standard. Instead of basing the water loss budget on the individual draft water loss standards proposed by the water loss regulation, the tool relies on suppliers’ 2017 - 2019 average real water losses. The tool will be updated once the individual water loss standards are finalized.
  • Budgets associated with variances. Variances are for unique uses that can have a material effect on an urban retail water supplier’s urban water use objective. Examples include significant fluctuations in seasonal population or significant use of evaporative coolers. Variances may be included in the tool as requisite data become available.

Learn more about Making Conservation a California Way of Life: