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Water Reuse and Conservation

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California’s water system is in crisis.  California’s serious water shortages, brought on in part by drought conditions, have persisted over time. However, for the first time in the state’s history, the water supply and delivery system may not be adequate to meet the needs of the growing population. With aging infrastructure, continued population growth, and looming impacts from climate change, California is facing a complex set of problems that threaten the future of California’s water supply. Water conservation has always been an important element of contemporary California life, and it will continue to be important for ensuring adequate water in the future.

California laws provide a framework for local agencies to use water wisely and promote water conservation in the broader community. For example, State law requires California to achieve a twenty-percent reduction in per person urban water use by the end of 2020 (known as “20 x 2020”). Another law requires certain residential and commercial properties built before 1994 to install water efficient plumbing by 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Many California cities and counties are already implementing measures to reduce water use and promote water reuse in agency facilities and in the community. Cities, counties, special districts, public and private water suppliers, and state agencies offer a wealth of information and resources about ways to conserve and use water more efficiently. They also use other methods to encourage water conservation, including public service messaging, tiered pricing and rebates to reduce the cost of installing water efficient devises.

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