California proposes delaying rules aimed at reducing water on lawns, concerning environmentalists

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators this week proposed delaying new rules aimed at reducing how much water people use on their lawns, drawing praise from agencies that said they needed more time to comply but criticism from environmentalists who warn that the delay would damage the state’s already scarce supply.

Last year, California proposed new rules that would, cumulatively, reduce statewide water use by about 14%. Those rules included lowering outdoor water use standards below the current statewide average by 2035. On Tuesday, regulators proposed delaying that timeline by five years, until 2040. The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote on the rules later this year.

The state would not punish people for using too much water on their lawns. Instead, it could punish the water agency that supplied those homes. There are about 405 of these agencies throughout the state that provide water to nearly 95% of Californians.


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