Water Conservation Portal - FAQ
Water Supplier Topics
As required by California Code of Regulations, title 23, section 991, subdivision (b), there are two potential triggers for the requirement to complete the additional questions in the monthly conservation reports:
- The governor declares a drought emergency that applies to all or a portion of your service area; and
- When you have invoked a water shortage level consistent with Water Code section 10632 to respond to a shortage of greater than ten percent.
In April 2021, Governor Newsom signed a State of Emergency Proclamation declaring drought emergency in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and the Russian River watershed. In May 2021, a new proclamation expanded the drought emergency to cover an additional 39 counties. On July 8, 2021, Executive Order N-10-21 expanded the drought emergency declarations to nine more counties (Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz).
Accordingly, any urban water supplier who services any of the counties included in the emergency proclamations, and any urban water suppliers who have invoked a water shortage level in response to a shortage of greater than 10%, are required to complete the "Drought Response Questions" as part of the monthly conservation reports.
Yes, monthly reporting is mandatory effective October 1, 2020. The State Water Board adopted a regulation on April 21, 2020, which requires Urban Water Suppliers to submit a monthly report to the State Water Board. An “Urban water supplier” is a supplier that meets the definition set forth in Water Code section 10617, unless it is functioning solely in a wholesale capacity.
Can you provide an updated Excel spreadsheet with the reported figures for retail water agencies for the last reporting period?
There is a time lag from when the State Water Board receives reports to when we are able to post this information in an Excel document. Urban water suppliers will report their water production figures for a given month to the Board by the 28th of the subsequent month. The State Water Board will post those numbers in the updated Excel spreadsheet following the first Board meeting of the month following the report submittal (i.e., January data is submitted in late February and posted in early March). Check the Conservation Reporting page current information
Urban water suppliers serve more than 3,000 service connections or deliver more than 3,000 acre-feet of water in a year. There are over 400 urban water suppliers in the state. Small water suppliers serve 15 to 2,999 service connections or deliver less than 3,000 acre-feet of water in a year. There are over 2,400 small water suppliers through the state.
An “Urban water supplier” is a supplier that meets the definition set forth in Water Code section 10617, unless it is functioning solely in a wholesale capacity.
If a supplier operates multiple small systems that cumulatively serve more than 3,000 service connections or deliver more than 3,000 acre-feet of water in a year, is that supplier considered an Urban water supplier?
Yes, if a supplier operates multiple small systems under the same governance structure (e.g., district, municipality, county) that cumulatively serve more than 3,000 service connections or deliver more than 3,000 acre-feet of water in a year, that supplier is considered an Urban Water Supplier.
Which systems should Urban Water Suppliers include when reporting monthly conservation and production values?
Urban Retail Water Suppliers should report on every system they serve in a retail capacity, even if that system serves less than 3,000 service connections or delivers less than 3,000 acre-feet.
R-GPCD is a calculated number intended to indicate the water used by the residential customers served by a water supplier, reflected in gallons of water per person per day. As of October 1st, 2020, the R-GPCD value is automatically calculated in the reporting tool based on reported production (excluding commercial agriculture), population, and percentage residential use.
The equation can be written as:
TMP is the Total Monthly Potable Water Production (excluding commercial agriculture), in gallons
PRU is the Percentage Residential Use
TPS is the Total Population served
Days is the number of days in the reporting month
A more detailed explanation of the R-GPCD calculation method can be found at the following page: PRU and R-GPCD Calculation
Urban water suppliers may continue to submit monthly conservation reports by the 28th of each month, using the same on-line tool as in prior months: https://drinc.ca.gov/drinc/. The State Water Board has also posted directions regarding completion of the form at https://drinc.ca.gov/drinc/guidance_accessible.pdf.
Only urban water suppliers are required to provide these specific monthly conservation and production reports. Smaller suppliers have reporting requirements through other programs such as the Division of Drinking Water’s Electronic Annual Reporting (eAR) that occurs each spring.
Can a water district be reclassified as a small water supplier, if they meet the definition now, but didn't before?
Yes, a large urban water supplier can become a small water supplier if they consistently deliver less than 3000 acre feet of water to fewer than 3000 customers.
When calculating Percent Residential Use (PRU), should I base the calculation on billed production or metered potable water production?
Using either your data for billed production or metered potable water production is acceptable as long as you are consistent over time. See the guidance here. When calculating PRU, we recommend using billing data to determine the volume of water provided to residential customers as a percentage of Total Monthly Potable Water Production. In cases where billing periods are not based on calendar months, the urban water supplier should use discretion in selecting the most comparable and appropriate billing period. PRU, rather than residential use volume, is requested in the monthly conservation report because it can be calculated using the previous year’s data if current billing data are not available.
Can all persons who are registered with the same agency see all reports under their accounts (rather than only the reports the account holder submitted)?
Yes. All reporters will be able to see all reports submitted for their agency after they have submitted at least one report on behalf of their agency.
No, you do not need to re-register.
The preliminary population value is intended for reporters who need extra time to estimate the population. Some reasons for using a preliminary population value might include seasonal fluctuations (e.g., accounting for vacationers) or other factors not captured in the “average” population number. Reporters that do not update their preliminary population values after 90 days will receive a follow up email from a State Water Board staff member.
Even though the word "Final" is included in the report, are these final population numbers expected to be estimates?
Yes. We understand that it is difficult to obtain an exact population count and that reporters may utilize different methods for determining that number. If you do not anticipate changing the reported value and are confident as to its accuracy, enter that number in the “Final Value” column.
If, after three months, values reported as preliminary have not been finalized, a State Water Board staff person will follow-up by email. A final value should be submitted once there is current data available to complete the mandatory fields. Please remember final values can be updated at any time.
Yes, the population from the Urban Water Management plan is one of the accepted methods for reporting population. However, if your service area has experienced a significant change in the number of customer accounts since the most recent UWMP, please use one of the other methods listed in the guidance to report an updated estimate.
The regulation now requires Urban Water Suppliers to provide an “expanded monitoring report” when the Governor declares a drought emergency or when an urban water supplier invokes a water shortage level to respond to a shortage of greater than ten percent, consistent with Water Code section 10632. What does the expanded monitoring report include?
The expanded monitoring report shall include the following information:
- Descriptive statistics on the urban water supplier’s achievement of its water contingency plan response actions, including supply augmentation, if any, and progress toward achieving a reduction in water consumption associated with the urban water supplier’s existing water shortage response action level;
- Communication actions;
- Compliance and enforcement actions.
Will an Urban Water Supplier be required to submit an expanded monitoring report when it voluntarily invokes a water shortage level corresponding to a shortage of greater than ten percent-- I.e., when the URWS is not actually experiencing a water shortage of greater than ten percent or there is no applicable declared drought emergency?
No. If the supplier has not invoked a water shortage response action level specifically to avert shortage conditions by requiring certain actions (e.g., limiting outdoor use), the supplier does not need to provide an expanded monitoring report.
Urban Water Suppliers are required to report the volume of “total potable water production.” Does that include the water the suppliers purchase from wholesalers or sell to other suppliers? How does this compare to values reported in the electronic Annual Report (eAR)?
- In calculating total potable water production, a supplier should include water purchased from wholesalers; a supplier should exclude water sold to other suppliers. Per new section 990, subdivision (f): “’Total potable water production‘ means all potable water that enters into a water supplier’s distribution system, excluding water placed into storage and not withdrawn for use during the reporting period and excluding water exported outsider the supplier’s service area during the reporting period. Total Potable Water Production also includes all non-revenue waters.”
- In the eAR, suppliers report water produced, purchased, and sold in Table 5a. In calculating total potable water production for the monthly production and conservation reports, UWS should include, as applicable, “water produced from groundwater wells,” “water produced from surface water,” and “water received from another public water system,” i.e., columns C, D, and E in Table 5a.
What is non-revenue water? How does this compare to the values reported in the water loss audits reports, as required by Water Code Section 10608.34(b)
Water Code Section 10608.34(b)
Per the American Water Works Association (AWWA), non-revenue water is equal to the sum of water losses, unbilled metered water, and unbilled unmetered water. Water Code Section 10608.34, subdivision (b) requires Urban Retail Water Suppliers to submit an annual water audit report in accordance with AWWA’s Water Audits and Loss Control Programs, Manual M36. With the data input by the supplier, AWWA’s free water audit software (Version 5) calculates non-revenue water.
The monthly production and conservation reporting form asks UWS to report “recycled water.” Does this include potable and non-potable recycled water?
Yes, suppliers may voluntarily report potable and non-potable recycled water use.
Per new section 991, subdivision (a)(1), UWS are now required to report the public water system identification (PWSID) of each system their agency owns or operates. However, suppliers will continue to report aggregated numbers (e.g., population across their service area, total production for all systems, etc.) for their agency, as they have been doing.
There are several possible resources for identifying the Public Water System Identification (PWSIDs) associated with your agency:
- The Drinking Water Watch Tool: https://sdwis.waterboards.ca.gov/PDWW/index.jsp
- The Division of Drinking Water field office for your region: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/programs/districts/
- 2015 Urban Water Management Plan, Table 2-1: Public Water Systems.
The spreadsheet is available here: https://wuedata.water.ca.gov/uwmp_export.asp
- Please note that these PWSIDs may not be current due to consolidation or a change in ownership; if you think information here may not be current, we highly recommend contacting the person or persons responsible for this section of the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan.
Can a copy of the slide presentation shown during the Stakeholder Webinar to Demonstrate Updates to the Urban Water Supplier Reporting Tool be emailed to everyone?
Please email ORPP-WaterConservation@Waterboards.ca.gov to request a copy of the webinar slides. The presentation slides will be emailed to you.
The State Water Board currently does not have an option for suppliers to export the data through the DRINC portal. However, anyone can download the statewide dataset from our public website.
Will finalized data in the monthly production and conservation reports be automatically uploaded into the electronic Annual Report (eAR)?
This option is not available at this time. Eventually, the State Water Board will use an integrated data reporting system that allows equivalent data to be automatically uploaded from the monthly production and conservation reports to other State Water Board surveys such as the eAR.
The 2013 value is no longer required to be reported. We maintain this value in the database as a legacy variable and it will be released in the final raw dataset. If the reported 2013 value is inaccurate, please contact Marielle Pinheiro via email at Marielle.Pinheiro@waterboards.ca.gov to request a correction to this value.
If an UWS is not experiencing a water shortage of greater than 10 percent or if the Governor has not declared a drought emergency, an UWS shall report the following:
If an UWS is not experiencing a water shortage of greater than 10 percent or if the Governor has not declared a drought emergency, an UWS shall report the following:
- The urban water supplier’s public water system identification number(s).
- The urban water supplier’s volume of total potable water production, including water provided by a wholesaler, in the preceding calendar month;
- The population served by the urban water supplier during the reporting period;
- The percent residential use that occurred during the reporting period; and
- The water shortage response action level.
The reporting form also asks UWS to voluntarily provide the following:
- Water used by the Commercial, Institutional, and Industrial (CII) customers during the reporting period;
- Water used by the Agricultural customers during the reporting period;
- Recycled water used during the reporting period; and
- Non-revenue water during the reporting period.
The reporting tool provides the following options in the units drop-down menu:
- Acre-feet (AF),
- Gallons (G),
- Million Gallons (MG), and
- Hundred Cubic Feet (CCF).
If our agency delivers potable and raw water (not recycled), should we submit the raw water data as well?
Urban Water Suppliers are required to report the volume of “total potable water production,” not raw water. Per new section 990, subdivision (f): “’Total potable water production‘ means all potable water that enters into a water supplier’s distribution system, excluding water placed into storage and not withdrawn for use during the reporting period and excluding water exported outsider the supplier’s service area during the reporting period. Total Potable Water Production also includes all non-revenue waters.”
The Handbook of Water Use and Conservation defines residential water use as “water use in homes (e.g., for drinking, food preparation, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, and watering lawns and gardens). To facilitate data streamlining, an UWS should report residential water use in the monthly production and conservation reports in the same manner as the agency reports it in the electronic Annual Report (eAR). The eAR uses the following definitions:
- Single-family Residential: Single-family detached dwellings
- Multi-family Residential: Apartments, condominiums, town houses, duplexes and trailer parks
- Commercial/Institutional: Retail establishments, office buildings, laundries, schools, prisons, hospitals, dormitories, nursing homes, hotels, churches, campgrounds
- Industrial: All manufacturing
- Landscape Irrigation: Parks, play fields, cemeteries, median strips, golf courses
- Agricultural Irrigation: Irrigation of commercially-grown crops.
My agency would like to include some residential water use that was previously unaccounted for. Should we?
Per new section 991, subdivision (a)(4), UWS shall report the “percent residential use that occurred in the reporting period.” Per section 990, subdivision (e) “Percent residential use” is calculated by dividing the amount of water provided to the residential sector for the reporting month (not including non-revenue water) by the total potable water production for the reporting month. If a supplier was previously unable to include some fraction of residential water use and now can, we support updating prior reports to reflect that correction. Note the reason for such changes in qualification field at the end of the reporting form. If a lengthier explanation is required, e-mail ORPP-WaterConservation@Waterboards.ca.gov.
Low-Income Rate Assistance Program (AB401, 2015)
Assembly Bill 401 (Dodd, 2015) directs the State Water Board to prepare a plan, with the State Board of Equalization, that covers funding and implementation of a Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program. This Plan is due by January 1, 2018. Additionally, AB 401 directs the State Water Board to report to the Legislature by February 1, 2018 on its findings regarding the feasibility, financial stability, and desired structure of the program, including any recommendations for legislative action. The report has been delayed will be release in 2018. Go to the Assistance page for more information.