In California, drought has been redefined as when your city has surplus water it already sells to alleviate shortages of other water suppliers that doesn’t count towards its state-mandated water cutback. Even water suppliers that are water independent and export water to other water districts to alleviate drought are being tagged with as much as 28 percent mandated water cutbacks.
One such city is Riverside, which has sued the California Water Resources Control Board over its 28 percent reduction mandate on the basis that it is “water independent” and its groundwater should be counted toward meeting the requirements for only a 4 percent water curtailment. Statewide the Water Board’s goal is to cut back urban water usage by an average of 25 percent. But the Water Board has mandated a certain percentage of water reduction, from 4 to 36 percent, for each city based on gallons of water used per person per day.