Water Conservation Requirements Increased

Mar 18, 2015

  As reservoir levels have started declining again, after our meager winter rains, the state is ratcheting up its mandatory water conservation measures. New and more stringent restrictions were announced this week by the California Water Resources Control Board.

The new round of water conservation measures are being implemented mainly through the suppliers, such as the Sonoma County Water Agency, that deliver water to consumers, explains State Water Board spokesman George Kostyrko.  So they have some small discretion over just how strict their residential irrigation limits can be.

Despite significant storm systems in December and January, water levels in Lake Sonoma remain well below normal.

  The new water conservation measures are summarized below. Data on current water supplies for Sonoma County can be seen here.

Prohibited water use:

The prohibitions on potable water use, first adopted in 2014 by the State Water Board, will continue, and new prohibitions will go into effect. All Californians are now prohibited from:

  • washing down sidewalks and driveways;
  • watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
  • washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle;
  • operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system; and
  • irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.

New prohibitions affecting commercial businesses include:

  • restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request; and
  • operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.