News Feature | April 3, 2014

California Bill Promotes Recycled Water

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

californiastatehousereg

A new bill in the California state legislature aims to mitigate the drought crisis.

"Proposed legislation by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, would require recycled water for irrigation at newly constructed homes and commercial buildings," TBJ Now reported

“I envision a time where people who buy a new house, particularly in the desert parts of California, would have a hot pipe and a cold pipe and a recycled water pipe. If they want to run their garbage disposal or do their laundry with the recycled water then they’re making an environmental choice and one that’s also cheaper,” Gatto said to CBS Los Angeles.

The bill would not apply to the whole state, just in cities that have recycled water operations. That means it would include Clovis and Fresno. Clovis has a recycled water system, and Fresno has plans to beef up its recycled water infrastructure, the TBJ Now piece said. 

The legislation is designed “to provide more water for residential and commercial use to offset water shortages. Besides using recycled water for irrigation, it could also be used by residents for washing cars and patios," the report said. "Specifically, the bill would require the state to adopt building standards for recycled water for new homes and commercial buildings."

The construction industry is wary of the proposal. "Michael Prandini, president and chief executive officer for Building Industry Association, said the requirement would not be costly as long as the reclaimed water piping was installed prior to putting in streets and other infrastructure. But if it had to be retrofitted after home lots are finished, then it would be very expensive," the report said. 

Gatto argues that his bill includes provisions to protect industry. 

"To ensure that homeowners and businesses aren’t economically harmed, Gatto’s bill specifically requires the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Building Standards Commission to consider the cost of various recycled-water infrastructure and the estimated quantity of water savings from using recycled water," Gatto's office wrote in an announcement about the legislation. 

Check out Water Online's Legislation and Regulations Solution Center

Image credit: "California State Capitol," © 2010 Jim Bowen, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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