Congresswoman Norma Torres

Representing the 35th District of California
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Torres Hosts Drought Meeting with Local Utilities

May 12, 2015
Press Release


ONTARIO, CA - Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) hosted a meeting with representatives of local water agencies to discuss the impact of the state’s new water regulations.
“There is no question that we must all do our part to address the drought.  However, it has been disconcerting to learn that while our local utilities have long taken a lead in water conservation, they may now be punished for these efforts,” said Torres.  “As the new regulations begin to go into effect, it is my priority to better understand how the regulations will affect Inland Empire consumers and ensure my constituents are treated fairly.”
Attending the meeting, held at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, were representatives from every city in the 35th congressional district.  They discussed the implementation of California’s new water regulations which were approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 5th.
Under the new rules, localities are required to reduce water consumption by anywhere from 8-36% of their summer 2014 usage.  Despite heavy criticism from local utilities, the revised regulations fail to take into account water conservation savings prior to 2013, do not adjust for climate or housing density, and provide no credit for innovative water conservation investments.
Many of the utilities within the Inland Empire have undertaken costly infrastructure improvement projects over the course of several years such as desalination facilities and laying miles of purple pipe for recycled water.  The new regulations do not take these prior investments into consideration when determining each community’s consumption baseline. 
“Inland Empire utilities, and by extension consumers, have long been willing to make the sacrifices needed to better preserve our precious water resources.  It is now time for those who failed to act in the past to step up to the plate.  Though we all have a responsibility to cut back, my constituents shouldn’t be unfairly burdened,” continued Torres.
“These new regulations effectively reward communities that sat on their hands as the drought got continuously worse and penalize those, like many in the Inland Empire, that had the foresight to take a proactive role and invested millions in tax payer dollars over the past ten years to reduce water consumption.  Yesterday’s meeting provided important first-hand feedback and an opportunity for collaboration as we all work to implement the new rules and advocate for Inland Empire consumers.”   
Rep. Torres represents California’s 35th congressional district and is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.