Water conservation measures diagram

Water Use Restrictions

Under its updated Rule 14.1 Water Shortage Contingency Plan, SJW is aligning this plan with its 2020 Urban Water Management Plan, and activating Stage 3 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan. Mandatory water use restrictions under this plan focus on outdoor water use, which accounts for half of the average household’s total use. 

A complete list of rules can be found below:

  • Limits on Watering Days: Watering or irrigating of lawns, landscape or other vegetated areas with potable water is limited to two days per week. Irrigation will be allowed Mondays and Thursdays for odd numbered and numberless addresses and will be allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays for even numbered addresses.
  • Limits on Watering: Watering or irrigating of outside plants, lawn, landscape, and turf areas with potable water using a landscape irrigation system or a watering device that is not continuously attended is limited to no more than 15 minutes of watering per day per station, with no watering between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. This provision does not apply to landscape irrigation zones that exclusively use drip-type irrigation systems. This provision also does not apply to low precipitation sprinkler systems that apply water at or less than 1.0 inch per hour. This provision also does not apply to watering or irrigating by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container, a hand-held hose equipped with a positive action shut-off nozzle or device that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use, or for the express purpose of adjusting or repairing an irrigation system. However, no irrigation can occur regardless of method that results in runoff.
  • Use of potable water for watering outside plants, lawn, landscape, and turf areas during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
  • The use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water device that does not have a fully automatic recirculation system, or the filling or topping off of decorative lakes or ponds, except where the water is part of a recirculating system.
  • Limits on Filling Decorative Fountains or Ornamental Lakes or Ponds: prohibition of the use of potable water for filling or re-filling decorative fountains, ornamental lakes or ponds more than one foot, except when fountains or ponds/lakes are drained for repairs, and except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life in ponds/lakes, provided that such animals are of significant value and have been actively managed within the water feature prior to declaration of a supply shortage level under this Rule.
  • Limits on Washing Vehicles: Washing of vehicles, except at a commercial car washing facility that utilizes recycled water or re-circulating water system to capture or reuse water.
  • Operation of commercial car washes that do not recycle the potable water used as required by the California Water Code Sections 10950-10953.
  • Use of potable water for washing buildings, structures, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, patios, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced, non-porous areas, except to protect the health and safety of the public.
  • Use of potable water for construction purposes, including washing streets, backfill, and dust control, if other actions to accomplish the same purposes without water are feasible and/or permitted or if recycled water is reasonably available as determined by a government agency.
  • Obligation to Fix Leaks, Breaks, or Malfunctions: Use of water through any broken or defective plumbing fixture, sprinkler, watering or irrigation system on the customer’s premises when the utility has notified the customer in writing to repair the broken or defective plumbing fixture, sprinkler, watering or irrigation system, and the customer has failed to make such repairs within 72 hours after receipt of such notice.
  • The serving of water, other than upon request, in eating and drinking establishments, including but not limited to restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars, or other public places where food or drink are served and/or purchased.
  • Operators of hotels and motels are to provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and/or to require hotels and motels to prominently display a notice of this option in each guest bathroom using clear and easily understood language.
  • Other restrictions on use of potable water as prescribed by the Commission, SJWC, or another governing body or agency.

SJWC can only enforce the restrictions listed above.  Please check with your municipality for any additional restrictions that may apply. 

leak on grass

Report Water Waste

If you see water waste happening in the community, please let us know. You can report water waste using this online form.