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Conservation Mandate Could Ease For Sacramento Water Providers

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Folsom Dam is one of the major reservoirs in northern California.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A proposal to ease the mandatory statewide water conservation rate in California could provide a slight break for the Sacramento Regional Water Authority

The RWA says the Sacramento region reduced use by 30 percent overall in 2015 compared to 2013. 

The reduction exceeded the current 25 percent state mandate. 

Under a California State Water Resources Control Board proposal, the requirement could be eased further for water providers the RWA represents. 

"The conservation standards for the region range from 20 to 36 percent," says Amy Talbot, RWA water efficiency program manager. 

She says those standards may be reduced based on climate and population growth. 

"All those agencies would get a 3 percent reduction, by agency, just for climate, there's also potential for additional adjustments for growth and then also drought resilience applies," she says. "But we don't expect those will be as pertinent as climate to this region." 

Talbot says even with an above-average winter so far, conservation is still critical after four-years of drought. 

Governor Jerry Brown has called for extending water cutbacks through October if the drought continues.

The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to vote on the proposal at its February meeting.