John Woodling, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, which represents two dozen water providers in the Sacramento region, issued the following statement regarding draft revised conservation standards issued today by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).
“The State Water Board is to be commended for seeking to incorporate a climate adjustment into emergency conservation regulations that reduces the conservation requirement by up to 4 percentage points for water suppliers located in the warmest regions of the state.
“The proposed climate adjustment acknowledges the role climate plays in a community’s water use—that it simply takes more water to keep a tree or plant alive in California’s inland communities—and the severe stress on our urban forest imposed by the current standards.
“The adjustment relies on an objective, science-based approach proposed by RWA and several other water providers last spring that uses data on the water needs of plants published by the California Department of Water Resources.
“Acknowledging the role of climate in conservation standards will help relieve the inequitable aesthetic and financial burden imposed by current standards on California’s inland communities, which are required to meet an inordinate share of the Governor’s 25 percent statewide conservation goal.
“In addition to the climate adjustment, we urge the State Water Board to ensure any new or modified regulations are flexible enough to be relaxed if conditions warrant as our precipitation, snowpack and water storage develop over the winter and spring.
“The Sacramento region is and has been committed to doing its part to meet the Governor’s call to conserve, reducing water use by 33 percent June through November this year. This follows a nearly 20 percent reduction under voluntary conservation in 2014, and a longer-term reduction of 20 percent in the region’s per-capita water use in the decade leading up to 2013.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the State Water Board to make sure standards are fair and equitable.”
John Woodling is Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, a joint powers authority representing two dozen water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.