The Executive Order outlines four priorities: save water, increase enforcement against water waste, invest in new technologies, and streamline government response. The Department of Water Resources will lead a statewide initiative to replace 50 million square feet of lawns with drought tolerant landscapes. Additionally, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Water Resources, and the Water Board will implement a statewide appliance rebate program to replace inefficient devices. Earlier this month, the Energy Commission approved water efficiency standards for appliances sold after January 1, 2016, which would apply to faucets, toilets, and urinals and could potentially save 10.3 billion gallons of water in the first year.
Current and continued prohibitions on water use:
Under the State Water Board’s actions on March 17, the prohibitions on potable water use, first adopted in 2014, will continue, and new prohibitions will go into effect. All Californians are now prohibited from:
- Washing down sidewalks, driveways, and other paved areas
- Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff
- Watering landscapes between the hours of noon and 6 pm (unless using hand held hoses, drip irrigation, or a faucet-filled bucket less than 5 gallons)
- Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle
- Washing a motor vehicle between noon and 6 pm
- Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system
- Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation (new)
- Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
- Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily, and prominently display notice of this option.