BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 606 (Levine) - Water conservation
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          |Version: August 17, 2015        |Policy Vote: G.O. 12 - 0        |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Mark McKenzie       |
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          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File. 

          Summary:  AB 606 would require state agencies to reduce water  
          consumption and increase water efficiencies on state property  
          when building on state-owned property, purchasing property, or  
          replacing landscaping or irrigation, as specified.  This  
          requirement would only apply when feasible and cost effective,  
          as determined by the state agency.

           State agencies are not likely to incur significant costs to  
            incorporate water-saving measures in the course of  
            construction on state property or replacing landscaping or  


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            irrigation.  The bill provides sufficient flexibility to state  
            departments to make efficiency improvements only when feasible  
            and cost-effective.  

           Unknown future savings related to reduced water consumption on  
            state properties.

          Background:  Existing law requires DGS to provide planning, acquisition,  
          construction, and maintenance of state buildings and property.   
          Existing law requires DGS to identify each public building in  
          the DGS's state property inventory where it is feasible for that  
          building to reduce energy consumption and achieve energy  
          efficiencies, as specified, and to retrofit those buildings.  
          Governor Brown issued two proclamations of a State of Emergency  
          in early 2014 due to severe and ongoing drought conditions, and  
          asked all Californians to reduce water consumption by 20  
          percent.  In light of the impacts of the drought on water  
          supply, the Governor issued Executive Order B-29-15 on April 1,  
          2015, which includes orders to save water, increase enforcement  
          against water waste, invest in new technologies, and streamline  
          government response, as specified.  Among its provisions, the  
          Executive Order requires the State Water Resources Control Board  
          to impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25 percent  
          reduction in potable urban water usage through February 28,  
          2016, and requires DWR to lead a statewide initiative, in  
          partnership with local agencies, to replace 50 million square  
          feet of lawns and ornamental turf with drought tolerant  

          Proposed Law:  
            AB 606 would require state agencies to reduce water  
          consumption and increase water efficiencies when building on  
          state-owned real property, purchasing real property, or  
          replacing landscaping or irrigation, where feasible, through any  
          of the following measures:
           Replacement of landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, with  
            an emphasis on native plant species.
           Replacement of irrigation timers to permit efficient watering  
           Replacement of existing irrigation with drip irrigation,  


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            bubblers, or low precipitation spray nozzles, or a combination  
            of these methods.
           Implementation of recycled water irrigation or rainwater  
            capture irrigation, or both.
           Installation of irrigation submeters.

          The feasibility of implementing water efficiency measures would  
          be determined by the state agency as improvements that can be  
          accomplished in a cost effective manner and within a reasonable  
          period of time, accounting for the life-cycle costs and  
          technological factors.
          The bill provides an exemption for state property that is leased  
          to a private party for agricultural purposes.  

          Comments:  Both DGS and Caltrans, the primary entities  
          responsible for state-owned property, have indicated that this  
          bill is not likely to impose significant costs beyond those  
          currently incurred for compliance with the Governor's Executive  
          Order.  The bill provides adequate flexibility for state  
          agencies to determine whether a water efficiency measure is  
          feasible and cost-effective before implementing improvements  
          that would save water.  The bill would also only apply when an  
          agency is making construction, landscaping, or irrigation  
          improvements to current state-owned property, or purchasing new  

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