In 2018, the California State Legislature (Legislature) enacted two policy bills – Senate Bill (SB) 606 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1668 – to establish a new foundation for long-term improvements in water conservation and drought planning to adapt to climate change and the resulting longer and more intense droughts in California. These two bills amend existing law to provide expanded and new authorities and requirements to enable permanent changes and actions for those purposes, improving the state’s water future for generations to come.

SB 606 and AB 1668 are direct outcomes of Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-37-16 issued during the recent drought of 2012 through 2016. The recommendations in the April 2017 report entitled Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life, Implementing Executive Order B-37-16 (2017 Framework) and subsequent extensive legislative outreach efforts informed the development of SB 606 and AB 1668. The 2017 Framework was prepared by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and California Energy Commission (CEC) in response to Executive Order B-37-16 to establish a long-term framework for water conservation and drought planning. The 2017 Framework built on the conservation realized during the recent drought, as well as implementation of the Governor’s California Water Action Plan.1 The resulting 2017 Framework outlined a suite of actions that can be implemented under existing authorities and, where necessary, recommended additional actions that can be implemented with new or expanded authorities given by the Legislature. To that end, the Legislature enacted SB 606 and AB 1668, which provide complementary authorities and requirements that affect water conservation and drought planning for urban water suppliers, agricultural water suppliers, and small water suppliers and rural communities.

As an initial implementation action, DWR prepared this primer to summarize the authorities, requirements, and schedules included in the new legislation. Where appropriate, roles and responsibilities of State agencies, water suppliers, and other parties are highlighted to improve understanding. During the implementation process, DWR and other State agencies will further develop data, information, guidelines, and other technical assistance to help realize the bills’ intended outcomes.

The content of this primer is organized by the four primary goals in Executive Order B-37-16 and the 2017 Framework: (1) use water more wisely, (2) eliminate water waste, (3) strengthen local drought resilience, and (4) improve agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning.

Please click Primer-of-2018-Legislation-on-Water-Conservation-and-Drought-Planning to view the primer and information presented.

Greg Bundesen, Water Conservation Supervisor, with Sacramento Suburban Water District provided SAWWA a presentation summarizing the information submitted as part of the Primer. You can click Water Management Planning – SB 606 & AB 1668 (2 of 2) Ppt_8-14-18 to view the presentation summarizing SB 606 and AB1668.