Why are there water restrictions?

California's drought is worsening, and it’s important that all customers reduce their water use to ensure there is enough water for everyday and emergency needs, especially as droughts get longer and more severe. 

In line with the Governor’s recent Executive Order, the State Water Resources Control Board is asking water suppliers to reduce water use among their customers. Currently, local and/or regional water providers determine how these reductions are achieved. If we are not able to reduce usage enough, the state could implement mandatory water-use reduction requirements. Additionally, in some cases, regional suppliers, such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California can enforce reduction requirements on local providers that receive water from them.  

There are penalties in place for violating water-use restrictions. The first water waste violation will result in a warning and may include the installation of a real-time water measurement device on the water meter. The second and third violations may result in $50 and $100 fines, respectively. After four violations or an egregious violation, a flow-restricting device may be installed.

While our crews often spot water-use violations, many often go unnoticed. Through our online water waste report form, we ask for photos or other key details to help determine whether a violation has indeed occurred. We will then investigate the issue and conduct any follow-up needed.

We may not see when water waste is occurring, so we have an online reporting process to help. If you see water waste or leaks, you can report it to us online. As part of our customer-first approach, we always prefer to educate customers before issuing penalties, and this gives us that opportunity. 

It is our preference to avoid moving to stricter levels of the WSCP by engaging with and informing customers about conserving water voluntarily. Our customers have done a great job stepping up and saving water when needed, and we are hopeful that our customers will respond to the need to reduce water use again. 

Our Water Resource Sustainability Team continues to monitor supply and demand on an ongoing basis. Any future decisions will be based on our assessment of local supply and demand conditions. That said, we hope to achieve the needed reductions voluntarily so that we don’t have to implement additional restrictions for customers.

We currently do not have mandatory reductions in place and encourage customers to reduce their use by 20 percent, in accordance with the Governor’s call for conservation. If we ever do move to mandatory reductions, we will align the percentage required with regional or state requirements. 

We thank you for all of your conservation efforts. Due to the severity of the drought, we ask that you reduce further where possible. Please also be sure to follow irrigation and other water-use restrictions in effect.

We offer a variety of conservation rebates, tips, and resources to help customers save water every day. You can find out more on our Conservation page. 

How to Save Water | Find Conservation Tips
How to Save Water

Small efforts make a big difference

Drought Stages | Discover the Stages of Drought
Drought Stages

How drought conditions vary

Water Dos and Don’ts | Learn About Water Rules
Water Dos and Don’ts

What’s allowed and what’s not

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