The California Public Utilities Commission says that investor-owned water companies in California have been ordered to request voluntary conservation from customers to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent.
The commission says the agency voted Thursday to order investor-owned water companies to notify their customers of the request through a bill insert or a direct mailing. If the voluntary measures are not enough, the companies may apply to the commission to activate mandatory rationing.
There are 116 investor-owned water utilities and 14 wastewater utilities under the CPUC's jurisdiction.
California Water Association spokesman Jack Hawks says it was no surprise that companies were ordered to ask their customers to conserve, since the state has been suffering from a long-term drought.