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Utilities Commission urges increased water conservation


With California experiencing its second consecutive dry year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC); the State Water Board; and the California Department of Water Resources this week called on local and regional water suppliers to increase their conservation efforts; develop a contingency plan in the event of water supply problems; and urge Californians to save water amid ongoing dry conditions.

Sustained preparation and drought planning are critical to meeting the challenges posed by ongoing dry conditions, which have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Most of California’s water systems were able to manage drought impacts and maintain the high quality of water delivered to their customers during the last drought by taking action early.

With widespread drought or near-drought throughout many portions of the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for 41 counties—representing 30 percent of the state’s population—and the state is moving urgently to address acute water supply shortfalls while comprehensively building water resilience.

The State Water Board sent notices to public water utility managers encouraging water source contingency and conservation planning as we head into summer and face the possibility of another dry year in 2022.

To encourage Californians to reduce water use and conserve supplies, the CPUC is calling on water utilities under its jurisdiction to remind consumers of water conservation best practices learned from the 2012-16 drought and encouraged water utilities to promote water conservation programs.

For additional information about the CPUC’s work to prepare for drought, lessons learned from the 2012-16 drought, and information regarding voluntary water conservation efforts, visit