Urban Water Use Efficiency
California cities reduced water consumption by almost 25% during the 2012-16 drought. Recent legislation (SB606 and AB1668) passed by Governor Brown requires cities and water districts to continue water conservation on a permanent basis. While most cities have rebate programs to incentivize fixture replacement, irrigation upgrades and turf replacement, these and other efforts, like stormwater capture and water recycling are likely to become increasingly important in meeting conservation goals.
Low impact development ordinances for large remodeling jobs and new construction now also routinely require some degree of stormwater capture. Additionally, awareness of leaks from failing mains to household faucets is also rising, although replacement of aging water mains in older cities such as Los Angeles remains a significant infrastructure challenge. Further savings are anticipated from the commercial and industrial sectors as they transition to recycled water.