History of the Executive Order

Water efficient shower head

Using a shower timer is one way to help save water and make water conservation a way of life.

The California Water Action Plan sets our path toward sustainable water use and the ability to withstand changing climate conditions and droughts. Water Use and Efficiency works towards implementing components of the California Water Action Plan:  

  • Action 1: Make Conservation a California Way of Life
  • Action 5: Manage and Prepare for Dry Periods

Moving forward from temporary drought emergency water-use restrictions to making long-term changes in how we use and manage our water resources, former Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-37-16 tasked 5 State agencies (California Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Energy Commission) with crafting a long-term water conservation framework to help prepare for changing climate conditions and water shortages. With input from both the urban and agricultural communities, we developed a framework that will be part of the larger, more encompassing California Water Action Plan.

This framework helps implement the Water Action Plan by encouraging Californians to:

  • Use water more wisely
  • Eliminate wasting water
  • Strengthen local drought resilience
  • Improve agricultural water-use efficiency and drought planning


Some of the framework actions will require legislation and new or revised regulations; other actions will encourage greater compliance with existing requirements.


The Water Use and Efficiency program continues to work with other State agencies, local governments, agriculture, and urban communities to provide guidance, technical assistance, and tools to help affected parties meet the existing and new requirements to make water conservation a California way of life.