SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There will soon be more focus on flushes and scrutiny over showers with a new law signed in by the governor.

California is now the first state in the nation to enact tough new water-efficiency standards. The controversial rules are targeted at water districts to cut per capita water usage, but in order to meet the goals, those cuts will trickle down to the customers they serve.

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“So that everyone in California is at least integrating efficiency into our preparations for climate change,” said Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.

So, what are the new rules?

In 2022, the new indoor water standard will be 55 gallons per person, per day. by 2030, it will fall to 50 gallons.

“With a child and every day having to wash clothes, that’s, just my opinion, not feasible. But I get it and I understand that we’re trying to preserve…but 55 gallons a day?” said Tanya Allen, who has a 4-year-old daughter.

Just how many gallons do household chores take?

An 8-minute shower uses about 17 gallons of water, a load of laundry up to 40, and a bathtub can hold 80 to 100 gallons of water.

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“She likes to bathe three times a day and she does laundry all day,” said Rocka Mitchell from Texas.

He and his wife Ginger are living in Sacramento for work and say it would be hard to conserve.

“I couldn’t do it. My family is way too large,” she said.

Retrofitting homes with water-efficient fixtures could help cut back.

“I think the average new home is 35 gallons per person per day, so we are not talking emergency conservation here,” Marcus said.

Greg Bundesen with the Sacramento Suburban Water District says they already assist customers.

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“We offer toilet rebates, we offer complementary showerheads, we offer complementary faucets,” he said.

The new laws also require water districts to perform stress tests of their water supply and curb loss due to leaks.

“Right now we lose up to 30 percent of urban water just to leaks in the system,” Marcus said.

Agencies believe fixing those leaks and educating residents is the key.

“Some people may not be aware that you’re going to use a lot more water in a bath and you wouldn’t shower and it’s our job to make sure they’re informed,” Bundesen said.

Water districts who don’t comply face fines up to $10,000 a day.

The ultimate goal is to make conservation a way of life in California. Outdoor water use is also covered by the new laws.

Standards will be based on a region’s climate and other factors instead of just one standard for the whole state.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been edited to clarify the target of the water rules is water agencies, but that cutting usage will require cutbacks from downstream users.

Comments (24)
  1. Jill Pruett says:

    I live in Cheyenne, WY. Right now, two people under the Cal 2022 limitations would be 3,000 gallons. Normally my water bill runs from 2-3000 gallons now.
    We don’t really do a lot of out door watering, we have 2 Caroma® low flow toilets (3L/6L and 3L/4.5L) I generally only run the portable dishwasher twice a week and do 2-3 loads of clothes a week – with an older wash machine. This is for 2 people. And we don’t let ourselves stink.

    I don’t like the idea of water districts micromanaging people, but you could be in the situation like Cape Town SA where the system was all but collapsing, and people were bathing in buckets 9 i don’t have a problem with pan baths-have done this camping for years).

    1. Suzanne says:

      This is insane. I cannot believe that the governor and bureaucrats are micromanaging our lives like this. I have a nursing licenses that can be used in any state in the nation, I cannot believe that taxpayers like me are being forced to leave California which has been my home for over 50 years. Let the illegals pay Gavin’s taxes. To all the Lib’s out there defending these laws, when YOU no longer have the taxpayers to support you and are forced to go out and work for your entitlements… MAYBE then, you’ll understand.

  2. I think Moonbeam wants California to elect a Republican governor with these outlandish laws coming through

    1. Al Gore says:

      Lets hope they do. The Crazy Democrats have got to go.

    2. Suzanne says:

      Out in front of the stores I see “Recall Gavin Newsome” petitions… when the HELL is it going to happen?

  3. Here government Brown is telling us how to live how to how shower how to bathe and what how is he living in a mansion I bet you he is not worried about conservation or doing it himself. People of California can live on rules or regulations , what does he expect people to go to work smelly and stinky cause they cant take a full shower or bath, Im sorry but his laws and regulations are wrong and people of California cannot be living by these standards I moved back over here and that was the biggest mistake ever , Law for this rules for that and stupid CRV , need to be removed from the state of California i pay more now here and double for everything this is ridiculous but Brown I bet you doesn’t have to worry about his water for his showers or when he takes a bath or waters his lawn. or anything he does !!

  4. If it isn’t __________ Control (fill in the blank) it isn’t California. Grocery bags, pet buying, food offerings e.g. foie gras, sporting goods, income, landscaping … if it hasn’t been controlled yet, it will be.

  5. Owen Howlett says:

    Apparently you edited this article, but it’s still highly misleading. People will not be required to limit their water use–the law is aimed at making water utilities more efficient. The article deliberately omits this, to sound more scary. Very poor journalism.

    1. Shani says:

      You seem to be the only one of commenters here that either knows the law or looked it up before commenting. I agree. Very bad journalism here by misrepresenting facts and causing needless hysteria.

      1. ZW says:

        Ok, so you clearly aren’t seeing the big picture. Who do you think those fines will be passed along to? You really think the utilities company is going to eat those costs? Lol typical lefty clown.

  6. Usual nutjob rantings I see. Our pioneer forebearers used maybe 5 gallons a day, if that. Now it is a disaster if we are limited to 50?

  7. Ihme pellejä… kuka käy 2 kertaa suihkussa joka päivä ?

  8. Yeah, I have 2,000,000 pond and affordable taxes. You can keep California.

  9. Willy says:

    Just one more incentive to flee what used to be a wonderful state.

  10. Brenda says:

    I can’t wait to move out of this communist hell hole. I grew up in California, I’ve been here for nearly 60 years. It is not the place it used to be.

  11. Mary Yamada says:

    I grew up in Des Moines in 40s and 50s and we always self-restricted our water use. I automatically do it now and always have. It was always a puzzle to me why almost no one else did.

  12. Donald Strate says:

    Just another way for Dems to make money off us ! Fine Fine and more Fines ! Gotta buy all that clean air from Africa !

    1. Chas says:

      Yup. ANY law based on “climate change” is bound to be a scam.

  13. Chas says:

    How do they tell “indoor” water usage from “outdoor” water usage? It all comes down the same line through the same meter.

  14. Janice says:

    Why not just eliminate all lawns and ornamental plants in California. That would be way more effective and easy.

  15. This Democratic Party governor and state legislature can’t seem to find bigger and more pressing problems than to implement draconian measures on water usage. Homelessness and all the challenges associated with this one problem seem to be they could try to tackle first. This is what incompetent government looks like.

    1. One way to more adequately prepare for the next drought is to stop wasting money on non essential programs that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and spend that on water collection cisterns or wells to collect the wasted water that runs into the oceans every year. Cut the budget to all these incessant parades, and other novelty events that local and state governments waste money on and pay for water projects that benefit the state.

  16. Scott says:

    I find it funny. Everyone is complaining but all you have to do is vote in political leadership that has your best interest. Do you think Pelosi, Waters, or any Hollywood movie star is going to abide by this? Heck no. These tax dollars are set at amounts that will cripple the lower and middle class but not the upper. Think about that for a bit. Also, if you are planning on leaving – don’t bring that liberal mentality to the state you plan to move too as we are doing just fine without all the liberal mentality that has infected and is slowly killing California.

  17. Jimmie Atencio says:

    If i use 40 gallons today, can I carry over 15 gallons for tomorrow for a total of 70 gallons?

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