California water efficiency laws and what they really mean

Updated January 17, 2020
California water efficiency laws and what they really mean

News media reports have shared inaccurate information regarding water use targets that were adopted by the state legislature. The two California water efficiency laws that took effect on January 1 aren’t intended to fine individual customers. And there have been reports that with the new law changes, individual customers would be fined for using more than 55 gallons of water per person per day. These claims are simply untrue.

New laws will encourage water efficiency

In May 2018, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668, which set state water use targets for cities like Roseville. The goal of these laws are to further encourage water use efficiency while also stretching existing water supply resources.

Additionally, Roseville will establish water use targets by 2022 and begin implementation in 2023. As we work towards meeting these goals, rest assured that we will keep you up-to-date.

What the new laws mean for your water utility and you, as a customer

  • Water agencies, like Roseville, are required to calculate a water efficiency standard for their entire service area annually based on indoor residential water use; outdoor water use; and commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation and water loss.
  • The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for each individual customer. Rather, it is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard across our water service area.    
  • Customers will not be responsible for fines under these laws. Instead, the State Water Board (who will monitor our water usage as a water agency) can fine Roseville $1,000 daily (and up to $10,000 per day during drought years) if we don’t not meet the cumulative standard.
  • There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. There are no specific statewide laws that require individual households to meet any specific targets. The targets will be set for an entire service area and are scheduled to go into effect in 2023.


More information about these laws can be found on the State Water Board website.

Saving water rain or shine

Despite these targets, Roseville has and will continue to its commitment towards water use efficiency. As we grow  our water supply infrastructure to maintain high water reliability, we need your help in using water as wisely as possible, because there’s never enough to waste.

If you didn’t know, your water utility has many programs to help you save water, including our Water Wise House Calls and a variety of rebates that will off-set the cost of retrofitting your home to be more water-use efficient.  To learn more, visit

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