Water conservation in California could change drastically next month.
In the short-term, water regulators are proposing to scrap the state-mandated reduction targets urban water agencies have been required to hit since last year.
If the board approves the new proposal, agencies would instead have to calculate how much they need to conserve to have enough water to get through three dry years.
That could allow areas such as Humboldt County, which received enough rainfall this winter to exit drought conditions, to stop conserving.
"We’re prepared to go back to something more stringent, if conditions warrant that," says board climate and conservation manager, Max Gomberg. "But what we’re doing today is we’re making a pivot to a long-term strategy."
The Board will vote on May 18th about whether to adopt the new standard.
Brown’s executive order would require California water agencies to continue reductions after this year’s emergency rules expire.
The order directs the water board to make bans on hosing off sidewalks and driveways permanent, and to develop long-term reduction targets in concert with local agencies.