Governor Jerry Brown is retiring but not before he passes a few draconian laws as parting gifts for California. Two bills were signed into law on Thursday of last week to “help California be better prepared for future droughts and the effects of climate change.”
California is now the first state in the nation to enact tough new water-efficiency standards. The controversial rules limit how many gallons a person can use inside their home per day.
The mandatory water conservation standards will be permanent, according to their wording, and not just for use in times of crisis. To make a long story short, now that these bills are law, it’s illegal to take a shower and do a load of laundry in the same day because you’ll exceed your “ration.”
Senate Bill 606 establishes a “governing body” to oversee all water suppliers, both private and public and will require extensive paperwork from those utility companies.
Assembly Bill 1668 is where it gets personal. This establishes limits on indoor water usage for every person in California and the amount allowed will decrease even further over the next 12 years.
The bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish 55 gallons per capita daily as the standard for indoor residential water use, beginning January 1, 2025, would establish the greater of 52.5 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use, and beginning January 1, 2030, would establish the greater of 50 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use. The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified.
If you’re wondering how the government would know how much water your family is using, the utility providers will be obligated to rat you out of face massive fines. And they’re encouraged to spy in all sorts of creative ways. They “shall use satellite imagery, site visits, or other best available technology to develop an accurate estimate of landscaped areas.”
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 uses about 40 gallons of water
A bathtub holds 80 to 100 gallons of water
A dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water
“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.