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Rulemaking to Make Conservation a California Way of Life

Making Conservation a California Way of Life is a new way of managing urban water use. The State Water Board will consider a regulation that establishes unique efficiency goals for each Urban Retail Water Supplier in California and provides those suppliers flexibility to implement locally appropriate solutions. As part of the state’s all-of-the-above strategy to expand storage, develop new water supplies, and promote more efficient water use, this regulation seeks to cultivate long-term practices that help communities adapt to California's ongoing water challenges. The proposed regulation will lessen the need for the emergency water use reduction targets that were important in recent droughts.

As part of the proposed regulation, urban retail water suppliers – not individual households or businesses – will be held to “urban water use objectives.” An urban water use objective is the sum of standard-based budgets for a subset of water uses, such as residential outdoor use.

Click here to read more about how urban retail water suppliers would calculate customized urban water use objectives.

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Public Meetings

Public Meetings

Learn more about upcoming and past meetings

Objective Exploration Tool

Objective Exploration Tool

Learn how the regulation may affect urban water use

Regulatory Documents

Regulatory Documents

Find files associated with the official rulemaking process

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheets

Find fact sheets, FAQs, and Primer

Supporting Materials

Supporting Materials

Studies and recommendations

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Public Meetings

Upcoming Meetings and Workshops

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Past Meetings and Workshops

Public Stakeholder Webinar: Urban Trees and Parklands

Material for Workshop

The following materials are subject to changes based on stakeholder input, as the stakeholder process is ongoing.


Regulatory Documents

Supporting Materials


Research Contract

In June 2019, the State Water Board adopted Resolution Number 2019-0029, authorizing a contract to support the environmental and economic analysis of new water efficiency standards. The California Department of General Services approved Contract 19-058-240 on November 1, 2019. California State University (CSU) Sacramento led the work to generate water use scenarios given varying and reasonably foreseeable climatic and economic conditions. The scenarios informed both the environmental and economic impact analyses. Teams at the University of California (UC) Los Angeles, UC Davis, and CSU Sacramento carried out the environmental analyses, which include meeting CEQA obligations and evaluating impacts to local wastewater management, developed and natural parklands, and urban tree health. Teams at CSU Humboldt and CSU Sacramento carried out the economic impact analysis.


Indoor Water Use


The 2018 Legislation requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR), in coordination with the State Water Board, conduct necessary studies and investigations and develop recommendations for the State Water Board.

California Statutes Making Conservation a California Way of Life

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