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Feb 22

From the desk of John Rossi, General Manager

Posted on February 22, 2016 at 6:35 PM by Son Bui

Deputy Director of Water Resources Tim Barr and I attended the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) Meeting in Sacramento on Tuesday, Feb. 2, as well as several times over the last few months to provide comments on behalf of the communities we serve. Our hope was that the State Board would consider a more equitable water conservation framework in their decision to extend the Emergency Regulations into October 2016. Our goal has been to have several points recognized: the water-use efficiency efforts previously implemented by you, our customers; our investments in drought-sustainable supplies; and the additional need for water in our arid climate. 

The end result: Although we fought for more equitable regulations, we received only a portion of the changes we sought in the State Board’s final decision. 

After the hearing, our new conservation target is expected to drop only a few percent points; the exact amount will not be known until a series of calculations are completed and the supporting data are approved by the State Board in March. 

Western’s reduced target was influenced by our continual efforts to identify our District as an early adopter of water-efficiency measures and a forward-thinking developer of drought-resilient water supplies for our communities. Together with your support, we‘re leading the way for water planning and water savings in the state. 

Regardless of not receiving full credit for our early conservation efforts, we must all focus on achieving the State Board’s updated target. 

We will be providing more details when the State Board has finalized its calculation for climate and growth adjustments Western and other agencies have requested. It’s our goal to continue to meet the needs of our customers and work with the State Board for a more equitable Emergency Conservation Regulation as we move forward. The State Board committed to revisit the need for the Emergency Drought Regulations as well as adjustments to those regulations in April when more information is known about the condition of the snowpack and reservoir levels. 

To learn more about California water, go to ACWA's Voices on Water