News Flash

Latest News

Posted on: January 2, 2020

California Water Efficiency Laws


On January 1, 2020, two long-term water-use efficiency conservation bills (Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668) became effective. These bills create indoor and outdoor water efficiency objectives for water agencies like the Santa Margarita Water District, not individual households.

Contrary to a recent media report, neither bill sets fines on individual water customers taking a shower and doing laundry on the same day.

Key facts: 

  • Santa Margarita Water District is required to calculate a water efficiency standard for its entire service area annually, based on indoor and outdoor residential water use; commercial, industrial, and institutional irrigation; and distribution system water losses.
  • The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for individuals. It is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard for a service area.
  • Individuals will not be responsible for State Water Resources Control Board fines. Instead, the State Water Board can fine water agencies (like SMWD) up to $10,000 per day if the agency does not meet its cumulative standard.
  • There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. There are no specific statewide laws that require individual households to meet any specific targets. The targets will be set for an entire service area and are scheduled to go into effect in 2023.

Santa Margarita Water District and its customers are excellent water stewards. We have worked together over the last decade to become a waterwise service area. In 2019 alone, customers replaced over 43,000 square feet of turf and have benefited from over 1,000 water use efficiency rebates. Projects like the Lake Mission Viejo Advanced Treated Water Facility transformed an iconic lake into California’s first swimming lake to use highly treated recycled water, saving 98 million gallons of drinking water a year. The District continues to be focused on developing local, reliable, and sustainable water supplies to reduce its dependence on imported water which is subject to drought, legislative and regulatory influence.

Additional Resources 

Fact Sheet (CalWEP)

Correct Information on California Water Efficiency Laws (ACWA)

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Latest News


Board Approves Lower Tax Rates

Posted on: September 10, 2020
Water Quality Report

Your Drinking Water is Safe

Posted on: September 21, 2020
District Map Boundary 1-blooming

2020 SMWD Blooms Photo Winners

Posted on: August 28, 2020

DIY Leak Check App!

Posted on: June 15, 2020

On Tap eNewsletter Now Available

Posted on: June 25, 2020

Be Alert for Scams

Posted on: April 15, 2020
What To Flush Social Media Content

Flushing Etiquette

Posted on: April 15, 2020

A Message from the General Manager

Posted on: March 13, 2020
The Mission San Juan Capistrano SJT-4255 (1200px)

San Juan Capistrano Water Utility

Posted on: January 22, 2020

Tony Celebrates 30 Years and Counting!

Posted on: December 17, 2019

Community Conversations

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Water Service During a Power Outage

Posted on: October 9, 2019

Frank Ury Appointed to Board of Directors

Posted on: September 5, 2019
Bill Insert_Water Festival 2019_print ready front (1)

May the 4th Be With You!

Posted on: April 25, 2019
landscapes tour-03

Landscape Inspiration

Posted on: March 27, 2019
last 24 hours

Water Levels Rise by 43 Million Gallons

Posted on: February 20, 2019

2018 Year In Review

Posted on: January 16, 2019
paying bills

Having financial difficulties?

Posted on: January 28, 2019

Rain, Rain! Give your irrigation a holiday

Posted on: November 29, 2018

World Toilet Day

Posted on: November 19, 2018
Nov Dec On Tap cover

On Tap Newsletter Now Available

Posted on: November 1, 2018

Imagine a Day Without Water

Posted on: October 10, 2018

Meet the Faces + Places of SMWD

Posted on: October 6, 2018
Upper Chiquita Reservoir

Ready to Respond in an Emergency

Posted on: September 13, 2018

District to Host Blood Drive

Posted on: July 10, 2018
Smart Irrigation Month JPEG

July is Smart Irrigation Month

Posted on: April 12, 2017
Leaking outdoor water faucet

The Water-Wise Lifestyle Is Here to Stay

Posted on: November 22, 2016