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California Lays Out Long-Term Plan For Water Conservation

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Sprinklers irrigate the field at Kit Carson Middle School, one day after rains swept through the area, in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Thinking about hosing down that driveway? Think again. California agencies want to ban water-wasting practices like hosing driveways and excessive lawn watering permanently – not just in this drought.

Under a new draft plan, urban water suppliers would have to meet new conservation targets by 2025 based on a variety of factors, including indoor and outdoor water use, commercial and industrial water use, and water lost to leaks.  

“So this really sets us up to better deal with the droughts to come, to deal with climate change and what it’s doing to our water systems up and down the state and to really take us beyond 2020 in terms of our conservation goals on both the urban and agricultural side of things,” says Max Gomberg, climate and conservation manager with the State Water Resources Control Board.

Some of the measures will require legislative approval. A final plan will be released in January.