Low flow sewer pipe photo provided by Stephanie Prescott, Jack Dohney Company

California Wastewater Associations Call for Sustainable Water Efficiency Goals

State Considering New Water Efficiency Standards
Emerging Issues, Regulations

The  California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), Central Valley Clean Water Agencies (CVCWA), California Water Environment Association (CWEA) and Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works (SCAP) submitted comments to the Department of Water Resources regarding their Report to the Legislature on Indoor Residential Water Use Studies.

At the outset, we recognize, appreciate, and agree that water conservation is, and must be, a way of life with our growing population and the impacts of climate change. We appreciate the State’s leadership in addressing the current drought emergency.

Highlights from the letter…

  • While not the focus of the proposed indoor water use standards, California sanitation agencies will need to mitigate the impacts reduced flows will have on the operation and efficacy of wastewater collection systems and treatment plants, which are designed for significantly greater flows than those proposed in the Draft Report.
  • Our report sets forth a number of material impacts and adverse effects of significantly lower flows.
  • In the next 5 to 10 years, several potable reuse projects are anticipated to become operational, offsetting potable water demands.
  • Before proposing a standard that will further reduce flows and water available to those facilities for recycling, such potential impacts and offsets should be thoroughly analyzed.
  • We urge against recommending a firm revised standard at this time as part of the Draft Report, and instead, recommend DWR put forth a provisional recommendation taking into account the caveat of additional analytical work being performed.
Download the letter >

Photo by Jim Aanderud

About the Associations


The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) represents more than 125 public agencies and municipalities that engage in wastewater collection, treatment, recycling, and resource recovery, and our mission is to provide trusted information and advocacy on behalf of California clean water agencies, and to be a leader in sustainability and utilization of renewable resources.


The Central Valley Clean Water Association (CVCWA) is a non-profit association of public agencies located within the Central Valley region that provide wastewater collection, treatment, and water recycling services to millions of Central Valley residents and businesses. CVCWA was primarily formed to concentrate resources to effect reasonable local, state and federal regulations impacting entities operating municipal wastewater treatment plants and wastewater and storm drain collections systems in the Central Valley. CVCWA is currently comprised of over 50 public wastewater collection and treatment member agencies, representing over 7 million people in the Central Valley. Additionally, CVCWA has over 20 associate members. Our members are public and private organizations charged with the responsibility for collecting, treating, recycling, and disposing of wastewater in a safe, responsible and economical manner.


The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) empowers wastewater professionals as they protect California’s most critical resource: water. Since our founding in 1928, we’ve grown to a community of more than 10,000 members across all facets of wastewater management and resource recovery, from operators to lab techs to engineers. CWEA’s mission is to increase the effectiveness of California’s water environment professionals through education, certification, and promotion of sound policies to benefit society by protecting the water environment.


The Southern California Alliance of Publicly Owned Treatment Works (SCAP) is a non-profit association representing over 80 public water/wastewater agencies in southern California who provide essential water supply and wastewater treatment for approximately 20 million people in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. SCAP’s wastewater members provide environmentally sound, cost-effective management of more than two billion gallons of wastewater each day and, in the process of protecting public health and the environment, convert wastewater into resources for beneficial uses such as recycled water and renewable energy.