Plan to make water efficiency a California way of life poised to head to governor’s desk

After a year and a half of negotiations, the Senate and Assembly pass SB 606 and AB 1668, partner bills that would establish statewide water efficiency standards

SACRAMENTO – Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) recently announced that Senate Bill 606 (Hertzberg) and Assembly Bill 1668 (Friedman), which would establish permanent water efficiency goals across the state for the first time, passed on the Assembly and Senate Floors, respectively.

In the midst of the drought, the Brown administration developed a plan to make water conservation a way of life. SB 606 and AB 1668 build on the administration’s plan to modernize the state’s management of this most precious resource by establishing a 21st century framework for drought resiliency by focusing on water use efficiency, something that has never been done before.

Specifically, the guidelines outlined in the bills emphasize efficient use of all water, while making a number of clarifications for the various types of water usage throughout the state, and establishing a framework for the implementation of the efficiency standards.

Senator Hertzberg released the following statement upon the bills’ passage: “The pair of bills we passed today is historic in its ambition. It is the result of hundreds of hours of meetings, compromise and consensus building on all sides. California has a long history of success with efficiency – cars, buildings, and appliances have saved billions of dollars for Californians, greatly advanced our sustainability, and been a model to the world. It’s about time we apply that thinking to water.”

Upon the passage of the bills, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) added, “This plan is a true testament to what the Legislature can accomplish when we take a collaborative approach to solving the tough challenges facing our state. Sound public policy requires broad participation, especially for an issue as critical and complex as the water we rely on. I’m confident that this plan will have a positive impact on the future of our state.”

“We all benefit when we use our resources more efficiently,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), author of AB 1668. “With these bills, the state will be working collaboratively with local governments to build a more sustainable, resilient future for every community across our great state.”

Today the Assembly approved SB 606, and the Senate passed AB 1668. The bills will next each return to their own house for concurrence votes on Thursday, and will head to Governor Brown’s desk

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