Home>Articles>CA State Water Board Announces Mandatory Water Restrictions For 2022

Lake Oroville, the second-largest state reservoir in Northern California, experienced low water levels during drought. (Photo: California Department of Water Resources)

CA State Water Board Announces Mandatory Water Restrictions For 2022

Water experts say a better plan would be to wait to see what precipitation levels look like, with early record snowfall

By Evan Symon, January 5, 2022 2:11 am

The California State Water Resources Control Board announced mandatory water restrictions in 2022 on Tuesday, replacing the voluntary restrictions the state has had in place in the last few years.

Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.

According to the new mandates by the board, restrictions will include not watering lawns for two days after rain, not using drinking water to clean sidewalks and driveways, having sprinklers run onto sidewalks, washing cars without having a nozzle to stop water when not in use, outdoor watering that causes runoff into the street, and other basic measures similar to initial mandates during the previous drought last decade. Trees get watering exceptions in many cases, such as median turf not being allowed to be watered while trees there can be.

Fines for not complying will run to around $500 per day, but the Board was adamant that enforcement would be more to local water districts with no specialized force being put out to monitor neighborhoods specifically. Neighbors who want to report violations also can through websites.  Any fines given would likely be rare, due to warnings being given, many people already in compliance, and many neighbors unwilling to tell of violations.

Despite recent rain and snow storms across the state that have drastically alleviated drought conditions in every county, and have allowed enough water refilling reservoirs to allow hydroelectric plants to reopen, as well as the state not stopping measures such as releasing water from reservoirs for environmental purposes, regulators adopted the new mandates on Tuesday in preparation for another bad projected drought year, with February and March expected to be drier than normal.

Voluntary water-saving acts by citizens, which Gov. Gavin Newsom called on for a 15% cut in usage last year, did not come close, with state water reductions only down 6%. Other measures, such as a 0% allocation by the State Water Project, also failed to meet the water reductions needed to stave off another drought year, necessitating the mandatory measures according to the board.

“Conserving water and reducing water waste are critical and necessary habits for everyone to adopt as we adjust to these uncertainties and we build resilience to climate change, so adopting emergency regulations now just makes sense,” said California Water Board Chief Deputy Director Eric Oppenheimer on Tuesday. “We need to be prepared for continued drought. There’s not going to be like a statewide force of water cops or anything like that.”

Water experts noted on Tuesday that while the Board’s mandates would likely save water, a better plan would be to wait a few months to see what precipitation levels look like.

“California has had so many unexpected storms already this winter,” said water engineer Shane Alexander, who has worked on numerous water projects in California and with other Western states to the Globe on Tuesday. “Plus we have a lot of snowpack this year. It would probably be best to wait and see for several reasons. Or at least keep them voluntary. And we should really be looking into areas of major water loss, such as releasing reservoir water and a refocus on urban and agricultural use.”

“These mandates aren’t asking people to lose their lawns or for golf courses to stop sprinkling. They are minor things to do. But there are other areas to look at first. And with so much rainwater coming in in the last several weeks, California has gotten more time.”

Mandates are expected to go into effect starting on January 15th and will stay in place for one year unless renewed.

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27 thoughts on “CA State Water Board Announces Mandatory Water Restrictions For 2022

  1. Restrictions are the plan. Reality will never be a factor. The agenda of the left is to take away water from farmers and consumers in order to depopulate the state.

    1. Yes, CW, and (as you know) they have been doing this for years and years. It has always been irrational to consumers and farmers, but of course it is rational to the left, for the reason you said. Even if it seems immovable at the moment we should at least know what’s behind this nonsense, so we don’t waste time and energy banging our heads against a wall.

      1. @W16521, Get a hold of yourself (figuratively not literally). You appear to be in such a PITIFUL state of being, as you are not getting many responses. This, however, can be easily explained. As you can see, the conservatives on this forum for the most part, are compassionate people. They don’t want to respond to your comments, feeding your sexual foibles (possible addictions) and prolonging your agony. Have you thought of getting some counseling? Perhaps a few hours on the couch with a psychiatrist or sex therapist or even better, BOTH, would help provide some RELIEF. Anyway, best wishes and have a great life.

        1. You really aren’t worth replying to at all. Conservative people are not compassionate. They are selfish and dumb.
          CW said ” The agenda of the left is to take away water from farmers and consumers in order to depopulate the state”.
          Please explain how that is not a ridiculous comment.

          1. W, the NRDC (National Resource Defense Council – ultra left group) has stated that it wants to eliminate all people living in ALL of the Central Valley and eliminate ALL farming too.

            The NRDC fights ALL water projects for the Central Valley including new dams and adding additional storage to existing dams where possible.

            If there is no water available for farmers or consumers, what happens to them..??

          2. AND the CCP needs farmland on the cheap to feed their populace…
            They have infiltrated CA politicians (Feinstein’s chauffeur, Swallwell’s Fang Fang… Need I go on???) and I believe that these water boards are being ordered to bankrupt the farmers and guess who’s gonna buy the land??? The CCP…

            Stop being so ignorant to the corruption in Sacramento.

      2. What is so ridiculous in the comment..?? Please, let us know, so some of us can respond appropriately.


      3. W16521
        I don’t see any ridiculous comments, although you don’t even say what comment you are referring to.

    2. Should also add that in my town, one of the first in the state to impose water restrictions many years ago, the threat of water police and fines turned out to be an empty one. As far as I know the city never once enforced it, but instead they relied, as a sort of dry-run for today’s Invasion of the Karens, on the totalitarian-lites in each neighborhood to try to shame just about anyone seen turning on a hose. This culture-shift allowed (and still allows) the city to continually raise water rates without a whimper of protest from most residents, which was probably their goal to begin with. And then eventually to keep them masked and vaccinated and sitting at home for the last two years.

    3. The plan is to bankrupt the farmers, so land is cheap that it can be bought by foreign (China) and/or Corps to buy land on the cheap and control the farming industry within CA. I know sounds like a strange thing to do but do your own investigating and you will see my reasoning is what you’ll end up with.

    4. I agree with you. Even when California get so much rain the dams are overflowing the politicians and water board are claiming there’s a drought. Must be alot if money being diverted to these special projects.

  2. Is this why they are draining Folsom lake? gotta keep it low for appearances, although they claim that snowpack will overflow it – the irony!

  3. So let me get this straight, during another drought summer the Democrat controlled state of California only issued in large measure “suggested” cut backs in water consumption but now after substantial rainfall and better than average snowpack the powers that be NOW issue mandatory restrictions? In addition these restrictions are also based on anticipated dry months of February and March, so that begs the question, what if they are wrong and February and March produce significant rainfall? Will this lift the mandate? I won’t hold my breath waiting for Democrats to admit they were wrong. And obviously there’s no talk of building more water storage for the state like building dams, no of course not, that would make too much sense.

  4. Californians did not elect the deep state Democrat stooges who were appointed to the California State Water Resources Control Board. Mandates are not laws and Californians are not obliged to follow the Board’s mandates. Leave it to Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint an unqualified Democrat stooge like E. Joaquin Esquivel as Board Chair who has a degree in English and his only previous work experience was as former Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer’s legislative assistant.

    1. Such a good point, Samantha. And by the way, it seems as though ALL of the state boards and commissions are like that. The commissions and boards appear to be the governors’ welfare program for their friends. Not that we want them to do anything, because they have no expertise and would only do more harm than good, but they hardly work and then get paid a lot to hardly work. Nice gig!

  5. …and no surprise, it was just announced a short time ago (tonight) that the illegal mask mandate is being extended to the middle of February. Gee, I wonder what will happen in February? This will never end. Good thing we just ignore it, been to many shops/stores in the past few weeks and don’t bother to even put one on. Nothing has been said by any workers at all. I see many others doing the same. If everyone would do the same, it would end quickly.

    1. The mask mandate is not illegal. Omicron is spreading like wildfire, and NO, its not mild in everyone.
      Some states are already considering mandating that the N95 mask be worn because it provides ample protection against Omicron.
      Lets hope CA begins following this lead soon.

  6. Water board is making the right decision. Its unfortunate that too many Californians refuse to comply and save on water. Despite all the rain in December, its not enough to make up for years of drought.
    This month along with Feb and Mar are likely to be extremely dry.
    CA needs to do all it can to enforce the restrictions and ensure that there is enough water for everyone.

    1. Such a good recitation of all the talking points…

      Do you get paid by someonefor each point supported ???

      It’s actually quite humorous and sophomoric… And moronic, like all your Omicron/Moronic Chicken Little recitations…

      And au contraire, conservatives are not stupid and mean, just capable of rational thought and critical reasoning…

      1. YES, CD9, but I’m thinking that maybe we should thank our troll, not only for the comedy, but for serving as a springboard for the excellent comments in response I have been reading here lately.

    2. Cheerleading for drought? Do us all a favor, do your part and never buy any California grown food. If leftists everywhere would stop buying California food just think of all the water farmers would save. They also need to stop bathing (did they ever start?) and dry up their lawns. Walk the Walk dude or shut up.

  7. Dear California State Water Resources Control Board;
    Read any history, ever?
    Droughts aren’t “new”. California has never been a rain forest. Santa Ana winds are not “new”. We can’t do anything about that.
    California’s water storage is not “new”, BUT we CAN do something about THAT! You unelected bureaucrats need to come down from your ivory tower, put the environmental lobbyists on hold, and get to building! California is not (yet) a third-world country without resources! Stupid little fishes are not going to save or kill our entire ecosystem! Endangered rodents and weeds don’t pay taxes, and don’t generate an economy.
    Restricting water usage does not increase the amount of water contained. (Don’t water your lawn for 2 days after rain? Seriously?)
    You’re supposed to be smart people, so figure it out.

  8. I worked at the water boards for many years. The leadership there pretty much had their heads up their backsides.

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