Press Release

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Historic Water Efficiency Package

SB 606 and AB 1668 embrace Governor and Legislature’s reengineered approach to water management in California

May 31, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, announced today that his bill, SB 606, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, along with its partner bill, AB 1668 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale).

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.

“This is another important step in the Legislature’s focused effort to reengineer water policy away from crisis management and toward a 21st century approach,” said Senator Hertzberg. “I want to thank the Governor and his staff for their creative vision, and my colleagues in both houses for their hard work to bring this across the finish line.”

California’s successful journey towards energy efficiency started with a framework to integrate efficiency as an alternative to building expensive facilities. SB 606 and AB 1668 do the same for water efficiency – our most cost-effective tool to achieve resilience and water security. This legislation puts all communities on a fair and level playing field and requires them to integrate efficiency as an essential element of preparing for an uncertain water future.

SB 606 and AB 1668 represent a fundamental change in the status quo that will reap true benefits for ratepayers and communities across California for decades to come.

Upon the passage of the bills in the Legislature, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins 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.”

“Water efficiency can’t be something we think about only in times of drought — it has to be our way of life in California,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “SB 606 and AB 1668 are important steps toward confronting the state’s water challenges, securing our most precious resource, and creating the more sustainable and resilient future that Californians deserve.” 

“AB 1668 and SB 606 are important steps forward in making water use efficiency a permanent, sustainable way of life across California,” said Kathy Cole, Executive Legislative Representative for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. “We all still have much work to do, but this legislation gives local agencies flexibility in how to do it.  It leaves to local water managers the decision how best to produce water savings in their communities and where best to make investments in local supplies and storage to manage water supplies in a future of climate change.”

“These water bills build on lessons learned during California’s recent drought and are a step toward a more resilient and secure water future for our state,” said Tracy Quinn, Senior Analyst, Water Program for Natural Resources Defense Council. “NRDC looks forward to working with stakeholders and the state to ensure all Californians are using this precious resource wisely.”

“California is taking an important step forward toward a reliable and affordable water future. Weather whiplash with worsening droughts and flooding will bring increasing uncertainty. This legislation represents our collective commitment to use water wisely, so that California’s communities, businesses and environment can count on a stable water supply,” said Wade Crowfoot, CEO of the Water Foundation when the bills passed in the Legislature.

“While we cannot make it rain, we must take steps to ensure that we’re making the most of limited water supplies,” said Mike Mielke, Sr. Vice President of Environment & Energy for Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “Going forward, we will all have to make more from less.  That’s why SB 606 and AB 1668 are so important.”

“As our climate and weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, California's business community needs a stable water supply to keep growing and investing in the region,” said Kirsten James, Director of California Policy & Partnerships for Ceres when the bills cleared the Legislature. “This legislation provides smart, thoughtful ways to bring water efficiency into ongoing practices, and sends a reassuring signal to the business community that California is forging a path to a reliable water future.”

Media Contact: Katie Hanzlik
Press Secretary
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 4038
(916) 651-4018