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Water Agencies React to Brown Drought Legislation and Conservation Requirements

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown meets with Livermore Mayor John Marchand.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Most cities and counties have been able to fine water users for conservation violations, but some special water districts were uncertain about their legal ability to do so. Felicia Marcus, chair of the the State Water Resources Control Board, says the Governor’s proposed legislation would give all water agencies consistent standards for enforcement.

“Pricing and enforcement are things where agencies vary widely, which is why we’re trying to just give more tools, but not dictate how people do things.”

Tim Quinn, with the Association of California Water Agencies, says he thinks the legislation is the right move.  But he says the water board’s revised plan for how agencies should collectively cut water use by 25-percent is not.  

The plan released Tuesday night didn’t change much from an earlier version. Quinn says the regulations still don’t consider differences among regions.

“They have to reflect your local circumstances. Temperature and climate are at the top of that list, but other things as well, your density and the rate of population growth," says Quinn.

"All of those are going to affect how much gross water you use and they should be accounted for in a technically sound fair policy,” he says.

The water board proposal recommends nine categories of cuts, based upon the number of gallons used per capita per day from July to September last year.  It requires agencies reduce use between eight and 36 percent. The board will vote on a final plan next week. SOC 

See more about the revised emergency conservation proposal here. Or search for Sacramento-area water agencies below to see the proposed conservation tier for that supplier.

Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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