Now It’s Against the Law in California to Shower and Do Laundry on the Same Day

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By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

Governor Jerry Brown is retiring but not before he passes a few draconian laws as parting gifts for California. Two bills were signed into law on Thursday of last week to “help California be better prepared for future droughts and the effects of climate change.”

The mandatory water conservation standards will be permanent, according to their wording, and not just for use in times of crisis. To make a long story short, now that these bills are law, it’s effectively illegal to take a shower and do a load of laundry in the same day because you’ll exceed your “ration.” I’ll explain why I say this in a moment.

UPDATE: This article was “debunked” by the arbiters of truth, Politifact and Snopes. Please find my rebuttal to their “debunking” here.

Here’s the wording of the new laws.

Senate Bill 606 establishes a “governing body” to oversee all water suppliers, both private and public and will require extensive paperwork from those utility companies.

Assembly Bill 1668 is where it gets personal.  This establishes limits on indoor water usage for every person in California and the amount allowed will decrease even further over the next 12 years.

The bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish 55 gallons per capita daily as the standard for indoor residential water use, beginning January 1, 2025, would establish the greater of 52.5 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use, and beginning January 1, 2030, would establish the greater of 50 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use. The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified.

If you’re wondering how the government would know how much water your family is using, the utility providers will be obligated to rat you out of face massive fines. And they’re encouraged to spy in all sorts of creative ways. They “shall use satellite imagery, site visits, or other best available technology to develop an accurate estimate of landscaped areas.”

Some analysis

Now, if you’re wondering where I get my assertion that you can’t shower and do laundry on the same day, here’s some math:

If you add together a 17-gallon shower with a 40-gallon load of laundry, you get 57 gallons of water, which exceeds your allotment of 55 gallons. Since this is now a law, breaking it, by definition, is illegal, right?

There are also standards to be established for outdoor use such as landscaping, caring for livestock, and gardening, but those numbers don’t seem to be available at this time. Maybe Californians just get to wait in suspense to see if their chickens are allowed to have water on the same day as their vegetables. Back when I lived in California, we were only “allowed” to water our gardens two times per week, which, in that heat, as you can imagine, didn’t lead to very productive gardens.

Farmers on a larger scale will have to jump through numerous hoops and create water management plans which must then be approved by the people in suits because obviously, they’ll know more about the needs of crops and livestock than the farmers will

Oh, and don’t worry, rich people. There will be “provisions for swimming pools, spas, and other water features.” So you can still have your pretty fountains and pools while the rest of the peons take 2 showers a week. One might wonder if ‘variances” will apply to the wealthy for their landscaping needs.

“The State Water Resources Control Board, which will oversee local agencies’ progress, will also consider possible “variances” for some districts that need additional allowances due to specific local circumstances.” (source)

Both Brown and his most-likely successor, Gavin Newsom, want to spend $17 billion to build a tunnel that will bring water from resource-rich Northern California down to bone-dry Southern California. This means, even the parts of California that DO have water will be restricted in its use.

What if you don’t comply?

If you don’t plan to comply it’s going to be way cheaper to move. Here are the fines Californians will be looking at – and it’s not a typo – these fines are PER DAY.

(1) If the violation occurs in a critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critically dry years or during a period for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on drought conditions, ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.
(2) For all violations other than those described in paragraph (1), one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.

Who will be billed for these violations?  The utility companies, as several commenters have angrily pointed out. But do you really think that if you are racking up thousand dollar fines that they’re just going to say, “Gosh, I wish you wouldn’t use so much water, Mr. Customer. We’re operating at a dramatic loss. Can you please do better next time?”

No, of course not. Those fines, while they may not be assessed to you directly by the government, will indeed come out of YOUR pocket. To think otherwise is the height of delusion. But hey, if you want to nitpick and act like I’m being ridiculous, go ahead and think that all those fines will just be absorbed by the utility company.

It’s important to note that your usage is only tracked if you have municipal water. If you have a well, at this point, you will probably be okay. Back when I lived there, the idea of metering private wells and billing the owners for use had been floated around, but most people resisted and it wasn’t enforced. If you truck your water in, you can also use as much as you need to.

For years it was illegal to use greywater systems in California, despite the epic droughts. Those regulations have been loosened, however, compliance is still extremely onerous. (Get the details here.) And rainwater catchment is not only legal, it’s encouraged. In fact, there’s a ballot on the table that is a “measure to allow rainwater capture systems to be installed without counting as new construction for the purposes of reassessing property taxes.”

Don’t think this only affects California

Not only are Californians fleeing the state in droves, but there are other ways these restrictive laws can affect the rest of us directly.

  • These stringent measures set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the country.
  • There could be a shortage of food coming out of California because there isn’t enough water to produce it.
  • The food we do get from there will cost a lot more.

It’s important to pay attention to stuff like this and not shrug it off because “I don’t live in California.” In an economy such as ours, we’re all interlinked. A draconian law that gains a footing in one part of the country is much easier to pass in other parts.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Brown and the dems in Cali are idiotic tyrants who can’t think of any sensible idea to solve their problems. Here is a freebie for ya stooges. Instead of building that agenda 21 bullet train to nowhere… Invest the funds in desalination plants… That’s right boys… How many thousand miles of coastline do you have?

  • Sorry, Daisy, but any of us who have been camping and have used a solar shower know full well that you do not need 17 gallons of water for your shower, AND YOU CAN BE SQUEAKY CLEAN using only 5 gallons. The ONLY adaption needed is to wet yourself down, turn off the water while you soap and scrub and shampoo, then rinse thoroughly.
    WHO THE HELL IS STILL SO WASTEFUL THAT THEY FILL A TUB? Take your bath the same way you take a shower……put the drain plug in, wet yourself down, shampoo and soap and scrub, then rinse.
    I have a dog sanctuary for 30 small dogs, located in the city.
    Water bills are of paramount importance.

    • Hey Gabe,

      Of course the water usage can vary quite a bit depending on how responsible each person is. I think most (not all of course) but MOST people that if given the correct information will do the right thing and not be wasteful. Is it lost on you that the California government is passing a law to spy on us and force people into compliance?!?! Is the slippery slope of government incrementalism lost on you?!?!? Not only is the law punitive, it’s dumb; dumb in that it’s rigid & clumsy like most stupid laws that these geniuses pass: Usually the language of such laws are written open ended so that next year or the year after or whenever the number of gallons might be 12 or 8 or??? PLUS IT WILL RAISE THE COST OF LIVING DRAMATICALLY FOR EVERYONE! And WILL (not maybe) run more farmers out of business and more people out of the State. As “sky” above rightly points out: Coming from a government that “wants to spend billions on trains to nowhere” among other stupid actions. I don’t trust them for anything and this latest proposal proves that once again!!!


        • Typical assh0le Californian lunatic leftist response. No wonder the rest of the US hates you and can’t wait for ‘the big one’ to wipe all you idiots out.

        • Wow, Gabe seems a little butthurt and has now resorted to insults to make his/her point. Typical liberal lunacy.

        • Wow! Right to insults and name calling. No matter what you leftists think, there are more than one side and view to issues.

        • You leftists Brown lovers are godless immoral disgusting evil people Gabe,so how about you go fuck yourself you opression/tyranny loving scumbag freak.

    • Gabe, I’m not a dog and nor are any members of my family, nor am I in the military in some God-forsaken desert sh*thole, and I pay for my metered water – if I use more, I pay for it. The fact you WASTE water on dogs is clearly a massive abuse of resources needed for humans. All your dogs should be put down in the interests of conserving our resources, and obviously you will agree seeing as how you are so gung-ho about preserving water! It is wasteful scum like you that cause these issues, and writing in all caps only shows what an ignorant and useless piece of trash you are.

    • I agree that 17 gal per shower is a lot. For years I used a 6 gallon hot water tank for taking showers and never ran out of hot water. But wouldn’t it be easier and more cost effective to have a baseline water usage and charge much higher rates for additional usage? This puts the consumer in control and lets them make the decision as to how much they want to pay rather than having the government looking over our shoulder. For example with my shower I did not need a reduced flow device because I installed a simple valve to control the flow at the shower head. This was much cheaper than a new low flow shower. There are many examples such as this.

    • TYPICAL LIBERAL SCUM. Get with the Program. 2 Genders, Enough water, Less TAX , and STOP with all this Garbage. You idiots are ruining this state . Everyone hates you .

    • So, you are recommending that the average civilian live like a soldier bivouaced in the desert or a sailor out at sea or an astronaut in the space station, so that there will be plenty of water for you to maintain 30 dogs? The ecologically responsible thing to do is to close down the dog shelter.

  • well. here in L.A. they don’t even measure my home’s water use.
    they simply estimate it based on last years usage. which they estimated based on the previous year’s usage. frankly i can take a shower, water my lawn AND do my laundry all at the same time, because i have replaced all my old rusty water lines with nice clean copper lines – from the street meter o the furthest away faucet.
    what can DWP do? they can suck it.

  • If the Hilina slump quickly falls off the main island of Hawaii, there will be plenty of water along the California sea shore. Unfortunately, it will be salt water.

  • The technology and commercial products now exist to generate gallons of pure water from the atmosphere, even in the desert. They were originally developed for the Israeli army. After many improvements and price competition by manufacturers, they aren’t expensive. A home unit can be bought for around $1,500., less than a used motorcycle. Do a Google search and you’ll find them.

  • This has nothing to do with drought conditions and is no more than an attempt at taxation through water usage. They want us to restrict our usage, but then they won’t short the nut-farms or much of agriculture in the Central Valle, golf courses, car washes, or any other business which uses water as part of their business, because businesses bring in taxes so they can’t screw them.

    Now the part about taxation; They won’t restrict our usage, but they will change the levels with which they set the charges for water usage. So if you go over a restrictive level the jump to the next pricing level will be through the roof, and they will force you to pay through the nose if you have a nice garden or landscaping.

    Governor Moon Bean needs to be put in prison for being the worst SOB we had as governor in decades. His left-wing policies are so bad that businesses are leaving our state in droves. So maybe the fuquing idiot can give us an explanation why his policies forced Toyota to leave Torrance and move to Texas. Then he passed a gas tax without voter approval which is currently be fought against by a coalition of angry citizens.

    Our Democratic government in California actually believes money grows on trees, and guess who the trees are. You got it, it is you and me. Unless we fight this with everything we have, Gavin Newsom will surely continue on with the same idiotic policies.

  • this is so simple to fix. all they have to do is let in another 30 million peasants and water problem disappears overnight

  • All valuable resources are always allocated either by price in a free market, or by (government) rationing in a socialist market. This is another step on the descent into socialism for California. Do you ever wonder if they are just testing their “subjects” to see how much they will tolerate?

  • Cancerfornia The Tumor State, Crapipornia The Toilet State, Cantafornia The Victim State.

  • Oh, for the days when California was awash (pun intended) with plenty of natural resources that were freely used to pump the economy for its citizens. Then came Liberalism. And it has been downhill ever since. This law that Governor Moonbeam has signed into law has nothing to do with water conservation and everything to do with control. No politican is really worried about water because they want every person in the world to move here. So, no one is worried about water shortages. This is about control and tax revenue. I can bet the fines will be enormous. I love my state but I continue to plan my escape.

  • I see a future of more emergency plane landings due to passenger vomiting caused by foul smelling liberals.

  • Wondering how much of the water is being saved for the almond and pistachio growers? Almonds iare a 3 billion $ a year business in CA. 2 billion are exported to China. And I have to save water for that? How many pounds of almonds and pistachios are in your preps?

  • I am sure the folks in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, politicians etc will be treated like everyone else…. The state seems to be going toward serfdom at an ever increasing pace. For those of you that wisely decide to leave, please remember how these crazy policies start and not bring this type thought wherever you are going to.

  • Remember about TYRANTS. You are to emulate them. Like haircuts men must wear under Kim Jong Goon. So, what does this tell you about Jerry “The” Brown?

    He neither washes his clothes, nor takes a bath. Now he wants YOU to do the same!

  • I live in a little town of grass valley on an acre. I have a childcare with 8 children. have a garden and have started an orchard. I am wanting to be a farmer. How the hell… Do you think I will get credit to use water for each child or will I write up a letter telling parents to bring me half of the kids water ration, so they can drink and wash and flush the toilet Brown and the dems have ruined what was the best of the usa

    • If you actually set yourself up as a farmer you will get generous allowances. If you have 8 children and assuming two adults you have 500 gallons a day.

  • First, every single -family home, duplex and apartment will have to be fitted with a water meter. Somebody will get rich doing that. Neighbors ratting out neighbors for a bounty.

    Secondly, no more watering outside of your home. Rip up the lawn and plant cactus and rocks.

    Thirdly, the exceptions to the aforementioned two, will be that if you’re connected to Hollyweird and Silicone Valley, you will be exempt from water rationing. Ohpra will have all the baths she wants. The rest of you can stink.

    By the way, last I heard Moonbeam wanted to bust the Oroville Dam so it would flood the whole northern half of the Central Valley, then sell the flooded land to the Red Chinese. When the water receded, the Chinese would grow crops and send the food back to China. Don’t think it can’t happen. Ask Paul Preston.

  • That is completely insane. Do these feckless c*nts (apparently it’s ok to say that in liberal land) have any idea how much clothes a family with 2 kids go through in a day, and the showers, dishes, cooking water etc etc.. and they really think that burdening these families with a $10,000 per day fine is in any way reasonable? These idiots need to be beaten senseless and locked in a cell and never be allowed contact with society in any way whatsoever for the rest of their miserable pathetic liberal lives. How many billions do they want to spend on their ridiculous bullet train, …oooh I see, they need to pay for it, of course! I am soooooo glad I don’t live in that insane state – idiocracy (movie) is California today.

  • Thank you moron liberal politicians for ensuring the claimed ‘blue wave’ turns into a massive ‘blue low tide’. Idiots like this PUSH people to get behind Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump has turned things around for the US in a big way for the better in just 16 months, something Obama couldn’t do in 8 damn years!

  • I think this is a wise move on California’s part. When they secede from the USA (or are thrown out), all of the Federal Land will continue to belong to the USA and not Kommiefornia. This will include most of the Sierra Nevadas and almost all of California’s current water sources. It is best that they now get used to short rations.

  • This kind of draconian micro-management is completely unnecessary. Simply price water high enough that demand meets supply. Problem solved. But governments are filled with control freaks who scream in terror at the thought of letting the marketplace work.

  • Back in the day, (when I used to live in CA, we had a sign over the toilet:
    “If it’s yellow
    let it mellow,
    If it’s brown
    flush it down.”

    Believe me if you follow that, you will also learn to put the toilet seat down!

  • If we don’t heavily ration our water usage how can land developers possibly build more housing to sell? We can’t increase the tax base unless we create more housing for people and we all need water. And farmers need more water to feed the increasing population. Southern California is basically a desert so if we want to continue to develop it we are going to have to sacrifice something. Maybe instead of private pools we should just have community pools, and instead of lawns, rock gardens. I grew up in the city, but I don’t like cities anymore. I realize many have no choice and hope you are able to cope. If you can get out, just do it!

  • The fine you cite is for urban water retail suppliers, not consumers:

    1846.5. (a) An urban retail water supplier who commits any of the violations identified in subdivision (b) may be liable in an amount not to exceed the following, as applicable:
    (1) If the violation occurs in a critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critically dry years or during a period for which the Governor has issued a proclamation of a state of emergency under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) based on drought conditions, ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.
    (2) For all violations other than those described in paragraph (1), one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day in which the violation occurs.

  • WAIT!? If they allow unlimited “rainwater catchment” doesn’t that just make the problem worse for those down stream? Can’t wait to see how they sort that out.

  • Will this apply to all the illegals?
    How do you fine an illegal?
    To hold this against illegals is RACIST.
    Will White people have to pay more?
    Do women have Special Needs?
    Can I wash my Prius and Tesla on the same day?

  • I once rented an apartment in a large apartment complex (100+ apartments) in Northern Virginia, and it was the first time for me as a renter that my water/sewerage/trash bill was not included in the rent. It was a separate bill issued to us by the landlord. (Not the utility companies, the landlord.) Every month, the landlord got his water/sewerage/trash bill, divided it up equally amongst all the apartments, and issued it as a separate bill in addition to the rent bill. So all the single, childless renters were subsidizing the water/sewerage/trash bill for the families in the complex. I was one of the single, childless renters, and it infuriated me. The families ran multiple loads of laundry daily, ran their dishwashers multiple times daily, took who knows how many showers daily, and the single people were subsidizing the bill for them. For as long as I lived there, I had no power to control my bill; nothing I personally did could lower it; I was at the mercy of the families in the complex. And I bet this is exactly what will happen to renters in California.

  • Earth is 72% water. It is constantly evaporating into the air and being circulated around the planet. Even the salt water.
    There is no water shortage. It is a constant amount. Maybe in deserts, it is necessary to conserve, but most parts of the county have abundant water supplies. This is another scare tactic by the greens to control our behavior. California will just end up being a dirty, smelly and unhygienic place to live as it will be hard to maintain good cleanliness with those restrictions. As usual, this will affect the poor the most. Most people are having a hard enough time keeping track of their kids, finances, jobs and putting food on the table, let alone monitoring their water usage every day. Fines will affect them disproportionately as they do not have the extra $ to pay them. What will the government do if you can not pay your fines? Turn off your water? How do you account for having a few guests in your home? Do you report it so you can add that to your daily allotment or will you just make your friends and family go to a hotel so your water usage does not go up. California should just drop off the edge of the country and put itself out of its misery.

  • So because the state is corrupt, stupid and inept, and has allowed 100s of thousands of illegal aliens to impact the infrastructure, all US citizens in CA have to suffer by sustaining life on a pittance of water?

    While self righteous climate a-holes like Al Gore use waste power and water on their secure walled super estates with acres of green grass and luscious plants.

    Sorry and this is not going to happen and if it does, it will be the death of CA as a viable world economy. Measures like this are nothing short of facist and communist.

    There is no shortage of water. Only a lack of willingness to spend money responsibly and to provide service through improved infrastructure.

    Failing damns are a perfect example last year during the record rain fall. Billions of gallons of water wasted due to incompetence and corruption.

  • Calfornia is self destructing before our very eyes and has been since corrupted Gray Davis was gov. We moved out of CA when Gov. Jerry Moonbat took Office in 2011, knowing that between corrupt Democrat bureaucrats in Sacramento, embracing rampant illegal immigration and the state’s corrupted weaponizing of water to control people…we knew that Gov. Moonbat would finally flush that once great state down the drain. Sadly, now it’s all coming to fruition.

  • This article is propaganda.
    First of all, the water usages claimed are variable and/or outdated.
    Secondly, the fines imposed ONLY apply water SUPPLIERS, not the public.
    Facts are fun.
    This article is bullshit.

  • The title is click bait. An average HE washer uses only 15-20 gallons a load. Average shower takes about 17 gallons. Each person can shower and one load of laundry each day with change. The point is to move towards more efficient appliances, and phase out old washers and toilets by 2025.

  • Your stats for water usage of appliances are way off the mark. A household should easily be able to achieve a 55 gal per person per day goal.

  • Mandatory water conservation for Americans, yet foreign countries are allowed to use tremendous amounts of U.S. water.

    Saudi Arabia Farming Arizona Land After Depleting Domestic Water Sources – 11/3/15
    “Outside of Phoenix, in the scorching Arizona desert, sits a farm that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy uses to make hay for cows back home.
    That dairy company, named Almarai, bought the farm (in 2014) and has planted thousands of acres of groundwater-guzzling alfalfa to make that hay. (Alfalfa requires 3-4 times more irrigation than wheat.) Saudi Arabia can’t grow its own hay anymore because those crops drained its own ancient aquifer.”

    “They got about 15 water wells when they purchased the property. Now, each one of those wells can pump about 1.5 billion gallons of water. It’s an incredible amount of water they’re going to be drawing up from that aquifer underground,”

    “the laws that are in place are really inadequate for dealing with this new trend. This is occurring in a part of Arizona that is unregulated for groundwater. So there are no limits on how much water they can pump.”

    The United Arab Emirates doing something similar nearby
    “They are growing hay. They are using the groundwater. And they are shipping it overseas — in this case, we were told, to China.

    Water Grabbing: How Saudi Arabia is Growing Wheat in Arizona – 11/8/15

  • They can pass any law they want, it does not mean they have the authority to do so. For myself we have a unique water company. Our water company is a nonprofit corporation and to receive service from the company one must have a meter and own at least one share in the company. The company has water rights and has issued 8000 shares. Each share represents ownership of 1/8000 of the company and its corresponding water rights. The state has no say in how much water I use, the company does. The company has a right to pull as much water out of the ground as their water rights allow. If the aquifer doesn’t give up what they have a right to pump then we have to live on less. And the company has been dropping our allotment due to the drought as the well levels are dropping. Personally I ignore what the idiots in Sacramento do. Cause one has to learn how to live free in an unfree world.

  • We are still here and this may push us over the edge. Quality of life in every aspect has left this state. Crime, homelessness, crappy schools, traffic and now every yard that isn’t already dead will be. My husband has a good job here and my older kids are in college but it may just be time to pull the plug. I am ready now. I want to live somewhere where things are improving and not everything in decline.

  • Is Brown and this stae totally whacked out> I have lived here all my life but I am ready to leave.

  • The 55 gallons is per person per day. One load of laundry will clean more than one person’s clothing, and you only need to do laundry usually a couple times per week. Therefore once everything is averaged out this limit won’t prevent a shower and laundry on the same day. The headline is incorrect.

  • Turns out the alleged new law was a hoax, an ‘Onion’ type comment on the bizarre behaviour of Governor Moonbeam. Still, makes me wonder: Is it still legal for a Californian to walk and chew gum at the same time?

    • It’s not a hoax, regardless of what Politifact and Snopes are trying to tell you. The laws did pass and my conclusions are, indeed, accurate. And although the fines are directed toward the providers, do you think they’ll just absorb John Smith’s extra water usage at the tune of a thousand bucks a day? Of COURSE not. Those will be passed from the providers to the consumers.

  • I live in Seaside, CA. My water meter was installed on the 1st of May, so I have been using it for a month. There are two persons in our household: my son and I. We always used water liberally: 2-3 showers per day, dishwasher, laundry, watering plants. When I found out about the new law, I started worrying – we might not be able to fit within 55 gallons per day, per person limit. The bill arrived yesterday: we used 748 gallons in 30 days. This means that between two of us we used about 25 gallons per day, on average.

  • I get the water shortage problems in California and the droughts but I hope they incorporate other measures and not just penalize people left and right.

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