Most homeowners want cheaper water bills. If provided the infrastructure, they’d gladly use recycled water to wash cars and irrigate lawns. Many cities have vast reservoirs of recycled water. If provided a market, they’d gladly allow the water to be used for more than just landscaping medians. Drought-scorched California took bold action to make these visions a reality, as Governor Brown signed AB 2282. The ground breaking legislation by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) would require the state to adopt building standards for recycled water in newly constructed commercial and residential buildings.
“The drought is a reminder that we need to make the best use of our limited water resources,” noted Gatto. “Recycled water is cleaner than most of the water in our natural aquifers. It’s wasteful and inefficient to dump this water into the ocean when we could use it for productive purposes.”
It is expected that providing this new source will reduce water bills for many. Gatto’s bill specifically protects homeowners and businesses by requiring state agencies to consider the cost of various recycled-water infrastructure and determine which methods will provide the greatest cost savings for consumers.
AB 2282 continues Gatto’s legislative efforts to address important water-policy issues. In 2011, the legislature passed Gatto’s AB 849, which fostered the use of graywater technology, and in 2012, the legislature passed Gatto’s bill AB 2230, requiring all new carwashes to use 60% recycled water by 2014. In 2012 and 2013, Gatto authored legislation to create CalConserve, a revolving loan fund for efficiency retrofits.
“Single-family homes use about 60% of their water outside. If people could water their lawns and wash their cars with recycled water, there would be much more water available for drinking and growing food,” said Gatto. “I am grateful to the Governor for recognizing the importance of this legislation for the future of California.”