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California Water Efficiency & Security Act of 2008


California requires a reliable water supply to sustain our population, accommodate our economic growth, and maintain our unique environment.

Regions throughout the state are learning that their water supply reliability is threatened as climate change exacerbates the already critical problems affecting the Colorado River, the Bay Delta Estuary, groundwater and other important water resources. For instance, by 2050 California’s Sierra snowpack is estimated to decrease by 4.5 million acre-feet (maf) – enough for 9 million households a year.

Yet, while California must address lost water supply reliability associated with climate change, the state must also accommodate millions more residents. Our population is expected to nearly double – reaching nearly 60 million by 2050. In short, we will need to serve more people with less supply from traditional water sources.

As we adapt to California’s new water future we can not afford to leave disadvantaged communities behind. Disadvantaged communities already struggle with failing water systems that lose water through leakage and flushing, and many, suffering from historical infrastructure neglect, do not have the resources to make repairs. Many disadvantaged communities do not have funds to install water meters, a useful tool to promote water conservation.

California must minimize new demands & aggressively develop climate resilient water supplies for all communities. Immediate action is necessary to provide for residents, accommodate new residents & support economic growth.

The California Water Efficiency and Security Act will:

  1. Have the California Energy Commission develop guidelines requiring all new development in California be water demand neutral by first incorporating water efficiency measures.
  2. Require any water use in the new development to be offset through water efficiency measures in existing communities or by developing climate resilient water supplies.
  3. Water efficiency programs will be directed to disadvantaged communities that otherwise would not be able to afford efficiency and adaptation

The Solution: Accommodating Growth and Securing Water Reliability

The California Water Efficiency & Security Act will ensure that California can meet water demands of both existing and new residents while adapting to climate change. This will be accomplished by ensuring that new developments meet the highest water efficiency standards feasible and that all new demands on existing water supplies will be fully offset. These water offsets will be used to implement efficiency measures within existing communities or to develop other climate resilient supplies, ensuring that communities maintain reliable water supplies while accommodating new growth.

The Water Efficiency & Security Act will help ensure that California can meet the water needs of our growing economy and population, including those of disadvantaged communities, while maintaining service to existing residents and adapting to climate change.

Article at leginfo.ca.gov