After California’s record dry start to the year, efforts to conserve water have created a patchwork of rules for residents that sometimes vary by city or even by neighborhood.
Emergency regulations took effect statewide, prohibiting water waste and requiring water providers to address a 20% water shortage.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California imposed stricter rules for several communities in Ventura, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Those areas need to cut water use by 35% or face a ban on outdoor watering as soon as September.
Here’s what the rules mean in Ventura County. Some cities have several water providers. You can find your water provider here.
Related:Southern California residents cut water in drought of ‘epic proportions’
Statewide in California
At a minimum, all areas fall under California’s emergency regulations that include:
- Turn off decorative water fountains.
- No outdoor watering within 48 hours of rainfall.
- Use an automatic shutoff nozzle on water hose.
- Use a broom, not water, to clean sidewalks and driveways.
- Avoid overwatering trees.
- No watering of decorative lawns on commercial, industrial and institutional properties.
Areas, including Camarillo, supplied by Calleguas Municipal Water District had to cut outdoor watering to one day a week or find other ways to conserve 35%. Metropolitan supplies water for Calleguas, which provides imported water for several local cities.
City of Camarillo:
- Outdoor watering for residential customers is limited to one day a week before 8 am or after 6 pm Home addresses ending in an even number can water Tuesday for 15 minutes. Addresses ending in an odd number can water Thursday.
- Exceptions include drip irrigation systems putting out less than 2 gallons per hour. Residents also can water trees, shrubs and ground cover with a bucket or hose with a self-closing shut-off nozzle. Overwatering is prohibited.
- The city may fine residents up to $ 1,000 and install a flow-restricting device for multiple violations.
- More information: cityofcamarillo.org/savewater.
Camrosa Water District:
- Outdoor watering limited to one day a week and is allowed for 10 minutes before 9 am or after 5 pm Home addresses ending in an even number can water lawns on Tuesdays and odd-numbered addresses on Thursdays.
- Exceptions to one-day-a-week watering include hand watering and drip irrigation for trees and other plants – excluding turf – to protect against erosion and fires.
- The agency may fine customers up to $ 500 and install a flow-restricting device for multiple violations.
- More information: camrosa.com/drought.
Several small districts also provide water to parts of city. Here’s a map to look up your water provider and contact information.
- City officials have no additional restrictions.
Read more:Oxnard limits outdoor watering as city, state grapple with drought
Ventura County Waterworks District areas provide water service in Moorpark, Somis, Lake Sherwood and Bell Canyon. Those areas limited outdoor watering to one day.
- Outdoor watering is allowed for 15 minutes before 9 am or after 4 pm Homes with even-numbered street addresses can water Sundays and odd-numbered addresses can water Saturdays.
- Exceptions include low-flow drip irrigation, recycled water and hand-watering to keep trees, shrubs and plants alive.
- Violations may result in fines ranging from $ 100 to $ 500 or installation of a flow-restricting device in the case of multiple violations.
- More information: vcpublicworks.org/wsd/waterconservation.
Oak Park residents get water from the Triunfo Water and Sanitation District, which has cut outdoor watering to one day a week.
- Customers may choose the day they water. Sprinkler irrigation is limited to 15 minutes.
- No watering from 9 am to 5 pm except when using a hand-held bucket or hose with a self-closing water shutoff device.
- Exceptions to the one-day-a-week watering include hand-watering of trees and other perennials as well as using low-flow drip-irrigation or recycled water.
- Violations may result in fines ranging from $ 100 to $ 250 or installation of a flow-restricting device in the case of multiple violations.
- More information: triunfowsd.com.
Casitas Municipal Water District supplies most of the drinking water for residents in the city of Ojai. The district gets no imported water and manages Lake Casitas, a reservoir that provides drinking water for the Ojai Valley and Ventura.
Casitas has declared a Stage 3 water shortage – a level first reached more than five years ago at the height of the 2012-16 drought. The board has kept a mandatory 30% cut in water use in place since that time.
- Residential outdoor watering is only allowed between 6 pm and 10 am
- Exceptions include irrigation with recycled water, rainwater or hand watering using a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
- More information: casitaswater.org.
Related:Camarillo, Thousand Oaks restrict outdoor watering to once weekly
The city, which provides a blend of groundwater and imported water from Calleguas, has limited outdoor watering to one day a week.
- Home addresses ending in an even number can water outdoors Saturday nights before 9 am or after 6 pm for 10 minutes. Addresses ending in an odd number can water Sunday nights.
- Exceptions include drip and other high-efficiency irrigation systems that apply a weekly volume of water consistent with the one-day-a-week watering. Residents also can water trees and other perennials with a container or a hose fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
- Residents can be fined up to 50% of their most recent utility bill or $ 50, whichever is greater for violating water restrictions. Residents can report potential violations by calling 311 or using the 311 app.
- More information: oxnard.org/city-department/public-works/water/ or 805-385-3905.
- From April through September, outdoor watering is limited to Wednesdays and Saturdays before 9 am or after 5 pm
- Exceptions include low-flow drip irrigation that produces no more than 2 gallons of water per hour or watering by hand with a bucket or a hose fitted with a shut-off nozzle. Runoff is prohibited.
- Washing vehicles is prohibited unless using a hand-held bucket and hose fitted with a shut-off nozzle or at a commercial facility that uses a recirculating water system.
- Residents can be fined up to $ 500 for violating the restrictions. The city could also install a flow-restricting device for multiple violations.
- More information: ci.port-hueneme.ca.us/1037/City-of-Port-Hueneme-Drought-Information.
- City officials have no additional restrictions.
City of Simi Valley Waterworks District 8 and Golden State Water Company provide water for residents in the city. Find your service areas on this map.
City of Simi Valley Waterworks District 8:
- Outdoor watering limited to one day a week before 9 am or after 5 pm Residents with even-numbered addresses can water on Sundays, and those with odd-numbered addresses can water on Saturdays.
- Water no more than 15 minutes. The time limit is expected to drop to 10 minutes next week.
- The city has no exceptions to the one-day-a-week watering for hand-watering of trees and shrubs.
- Residents can be fined up to $ 500 for multiple violations. If violations continue, the city can install a flow-restricting device.
- More information: simivalley.org/waterconservation.
Golden State Water Company:
- Outdoor watering limited to one day a week before 8 am or after 7 pm Residents with even-numbered addresses can water on Sundays, and those with odd-numbered addresses can water on Saturdays.
- More information: gswater.com.
The following rules apply to all homes within the city of Thousand Oaks regardless of the water provider. Customers of water agencies with stricter rules must adhere to those regulations. Find your water provider here.
City of Thousand Oaks:
- Outdoor watering limited to one day a week. Residents with odd-numbered addresses can water before 8 am or after 6 pm Saturdays, and those with even or no number addresses can water on Sundays.
- Residents can water on their designated day up to 15 minutes but must use a low-flow or drip irrigation system.
- Exceptions to watering rules include recycled water or hand-watering with a container or a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle to keep trees and shrubs alive. All watering is limited to before 8 am or after 6 pm
- Residents can be fined up to $ 500. After a fifth violation, the city will install a flow-restricting device and assess another $ 500 fine.
- More information: toakswater.org.
The city’s water supply comes from the Ventura River, groundwater, Lake Casitas and a small amount of recycled water.
- Along with statewide regulations, the city is urging residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 20%.
- Residents can be fined up to 50% of their monthly water bill or $ 50, whichever is greater, for multiple violations. If violations continue, the city can install a flow-restricting device.
- More information: cityofventura.ca.gov/885/Ventura-Water.
Have a question about water conservation measures in Ventura County? Please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.