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WVWD, RWD, and BSMWC Respond to State Water Board’s Latest Making Conservation a California Way of Life Regulation

March 21, 2024

Coalition Address Environmentalist Concerns Regarding Water Conservation Rules

In response to the recent release of the California State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Water Board) updated Urban Water Use Objectives, Walnut Valley Water District (WVWD), Rowland Water District (RWD), and Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company (BSMWC) issue this joint statement to address concerns and clarify their stance on the matter.

While we appreciate the efforts of the State Water Board to incorporate feedback from varying California water agencies and adjust the conservation mandates, further clarity and security are essential for effective implementation of the new regulations. Understandably, adjustments made by the State Water Board to water conservation rules may raise questions and concerns among the environmental community. However, it is crucial to address any misconceptions and provide a comprehensive perspective. WVWD, RWD, and BSMWC acknowledge the importance of securing water resources and remain committed to the mission of “Making Conservation a California Way of Life.”

The recent adjustments made by the State Water Board do not signify an easing of mandates but rather reflect a thoughtful response to feedback from various stakeholders, including water agencies and community members. These adjustments aim to strike a balance between conservation goals and the practical realities faced by water agencies, residents, and ratepayers.

It is important to emphasize that Walnut Valley Water District, Rowland Water District, and Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company have long been at the forefront of water conservation efforts. Despite the challenges posed by urban growth, innovative strategies to reduce water consumption and promote sustainable water management practices have been consistently implemented. For example, in February of 2024 WVWD’s water usage compared to 2020 decreased by 33.96.% and decreased 30.17% compared to 2013.

The environmental community must recognize the significant progress made by water agencies like ours in achieving conservation objectives while ensuring the reliability and affordability of water services for our communities. It is not a question of easing mandates but rather finding pragmatic solutions that address both conservation goals and the needs of residents.

Furthermore, it is essential to acknowledge the financial implications of imposing sudden and stringent regulations on residents already facing rising utility costs. Our Districts must plan for a cost-effective implementation of the new regulations. Affordability is a critical factor that must be considered in any conservation efforts to ensure that the burden is not disproportionately placed on those least able to bear it.

As responsible stewards of water resources, Walnut Valley Water District, Rowland Water District, and Bellflower Somerset Mutual Water Company, remain committed to meeting state conservation objectives while prioritizing the well-being of our communities. We will continue to work collaboratively with stakeholders to implement effective and sustainable water management practices. As co-sponsors of SB 1330 (Archuleta), related to urban water use – our agencies are currently collaborating with regional representatives who are deeply concerned for the constituents of the San Gabriel Valley. SB 1330 stands as straightforward legislation to ensure that the Urban Water Use Objectives proposed by the State Water Board are attainable and fiscally responsive to the current water climate.

As water agencies deeply rooted in our respective communities, we understand the challenges our residents face, and we are committed to finding balanced solutions that prioritize both conservation and affordability. We will continue to work diligently to meet state requirements while ensuring that our residents’ needs are met and their concerns are addressed.

About Walnut Valley Water District
Walnut Valley Water District was formed in 1952, and after seven decades of service to the community, the District operates and maintains a drinking water and recycled water system serving a population of nearly 100,000 residents. The WVWD team is comprised of water professionals dedicated to meeting the water supply needs of the communities it serves (Diamond Bar, Walnut, Rowland Heights, Pomona, Industry, and West Covina). WVWD is committed to leading with integrity and does so through excellence in customer service, communication, accountability, reliability, efficiency, and quality.

About Rowland Water District
Rowland Water District was formed 70 years ago to provide water service to 200 ranchers and farmers in a rural, agricultural community. Over the years, the District has evolved to meet the changing needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing customer base. Rowland Water currently delivers 14 million gallons of safe drinking water to about 55,000 people every day. The District maintains 150 miles of potable water pipeline and 25 miles of recycled water pipeline to serve 13,800 customer connections across 17.2 square miles in southeast Los Angeles County, including portions of Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, La Puente, and the cities of Industry and West Covina.

About Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company
Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company is a not for profit mutual water company serving customers in Bellflower California. Committed to providing high-quality water and excellent customer service at reasonable rates, the company is dedicated to meeting the needs of its customers while promoting water conservation and sustainability.