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Posted on: January 8, 2020

State Water Standards Clarified

Recent news stories across California caused concern and confusion over water use regulations. In 2018 the State passed a law to create new standards that will take effect in 2023. Those standards will set an annual total water use objective for each California water agency, including the Big Bear Lake Department of Water (DWP).

The water use objective, a total amount of water used annually, will be set for the entire service area. The standard is based on efficient indoor residential water use; outdoor water use; commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation, and water loss.

No individuals will be fined related to this standard (though they can still be fined for non-compliance of other local and state regulations). If we were to exceed the total water use objective, then the State Water Board could fine the DWP up to $10,000 per day.

There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. The law does not require individual households to meet any specific targets. The indoor residential water use standard, which starts at 55 gallons per person per day, is just one component of the calculation, used as an average. Likely due to the unique characteristics as a four-season mountain resort community the DWP service area average residential water use is already below the 55 gallon per person per day threshold, including outdoor water use.

For more information the DWP encourages customers to read the FAQ issued by the State Water Resources Control Board at (shortened URL) or

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