Water Use Restrictions
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Water Restrictions Continue in 2016
With California still experiencing severe drought despite recent rains, the State Water Board adopted an extended and revised emergency regulation to ensure that urban water conservation continues in 2016. You can learn more about the regulation here.
Outdoor Watering Restrictions for Sonoma County Water Districts
When is it OK to water outdoors?
Outdoor watering for ornamental landscaping is limited to two days a week: Tuesday and Friday, between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM, or between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM. Restrictions do not apply to food grown for consumption.
- Sunday: Outdoor watering is not permitted.
- Monday: Outdoor watering is not permitted.
- Tuesday: Outdoor watering is OK between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM, or between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM.
- Wednesday: Outdoor watering is not permitted.
- Thursday: Outdoor watering is not permitted.
- Friday: Outdoor watering is OK between 12:00 AM and 6:00 AM , or between 8:00 PM and 11:59 PM.
- Saturday: Outdoor watering is not permitted.
- 1st Violation: The property owner will receive a phone call notification of the water restriction violation(s).
- 2nd Violation: Confirmed with a date and time stamped photo, a yellow door tag will be placed at the property with a notification of water restriction violation(s). owner
- 3rd Violation: Confirmed with a date and time stamped photo, a red door tag will be placed at the property with a notification of water restriction violation(s).
- 4th Violation: Confirmed with a date and time stamped photo, the property owner is subject to a misdemeanor and fines up to $1,000.
Across California, the following restrictions are in place:
- No using potable water to wash sidewalks and driveways
- No allowing runoff when irrigating with potable water
- No using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars
- No irrigating outdoors during and within 48 hours following measurable rainfall
- No using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water
The State of California is facing one of the most severe droughts on record. Several consecutive dry years have reduced the amount of water usually available in lakes, creeks and streams, as well as underground reservoirs.
In April of 2015, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15, mandating statewide water conservation. In May 2015, the State Water Board adopted an emergency conservation regulation that provided the necessary direction for local agencies to design drought response programs, giving small water suppliers the choice to reduce water use by 25% or limit outdoor irrigation to two days a week.
Restrictions for Sonoma County Water Districts
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors opted to approve outdoor watering restrictions (rather than 25% reduction) for the Salmon Creek, Fitch Mountain, Jenner and Freestone Water Districts. Water restrictions limit outdoor watering to two days a week: Tuesday and Friday, between midnight and 6:00 AM, or between 8:00 PM and midnight.
Why 2 days rather than 25%?
- Small water districts usually do not have enough extra room in their water supply to reduce usage by a full 25%, as many people are already taking action to save water.
- If a water supplier does not meet the 25% reduction they may be fined $500 per day. These fines are borne by the ratepayers because the Water Districts mentioned above must be closed loop and receive no outside funding.
- Limiting outdoor irrigation requires annual reporting to the State Water Resources Control Board, whereas the 25% reduction requires monthly reporting with more extensive data. The costs for monthly reporting are much higher than once a year, and will have a greater impact on customers' rates.