Earlier this year, the California State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency regulations to limit the use of potable water in wasteful scenarios, such as washing cars, watering lawns, or filling decorative fountains. As the Southwest continues to battle the impacts of drought, we expect communities will see more regulatory restrictions. As water suppliers ask customers repeatedly to “do their part” during the second drought in less than a decade, on top of sacrifices made during the past two years of a global pandemic and widespread rising costs, tough questions are being asked as customers are weary of increasing restrictions.
However, drought-stricken regions cannot manage water resources without the help of consumers. The quickest way to respond during water shortages is by reducing demand at home and work. Meanwhile, rates are rising to address critical infrastructure. Communication in these scenarios is critical, requiring agencies to anticipate common questions and prepare standard responses that address drought conditions, restrictions, and long-term plans for water security.