Mandatory water rules hit Bay Area county: See the cutbacks in your area

One of the largest water districts in the San Francisco Bay Area announced mandatory restrictions Wednesday and declared a water shortage emergency, signaling the seriousness of drought conditions across the region and state after two consecutive dry winters. 

The Board of Directors for Santa Clara Valley Water District, which serves 2 million customers, unanimously approved a resolution requiring customers to reduce water use by 15% compared with 2019 levels. The board is also urging Santa Clara County to proclaim a local emergency.

Santa Clara is the largest district so far in the Bay Area to impose mandatory restrictions, but some smaller districts have taken a similar step and many districts are calling for voluntary cutbacks. 

Here’s a look at what districts across the Bay Area are asking of their customers.

Alameda County Water District

There are no mandatory restrictions. The district put together a lengthy online package with tips on water conservation. Find it here.

Find more information at

Contra Costa Water District

There are no mandatory restrictions, but the district is asking customers to be smart about water use and offered these tips:

-Inspect irrigation for breaks and leaks.
-Use the district’s lawn and landscape watering schedule.
-Avoid watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
-Mulch landscape areas to retain moisture.
-Run full loads of laundry and dishes.

Find more information at

East Bay Municipal Utility District

There are no mandatory restrictions. The district is calling on customers to voluntarily reduce water use by 10%.

Find more information at

Marin Water

The district has a lengthy list of mandatory water restrictions with the goal of reducing water use by 40% districtwide.

-Spray irrigation is limited to no more than two days per week.
-Drip irrigation is limited to no more than three days per week.
-Outdoor watering is prohibited between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to prevent evaporation.
-Covers are required for all pools and spas. Liquid pool covers are acceptable. 
-Do not wash vehicles at home. Use a carwash that recycles water instead.
-Do not power wash homes or businesses.
-Do not wash driveways or sidewalks.
-Do not waste water. Flooding gutters is prohibited.
-Leaks must be fixed within 48 hours of being discovered.
-Garden hoses must have a shutoff nozzle.
-Golf course irrigation is restricted to greens and tees.
-Do not water grass on public medians.
-Do not use potable water for dust control, compaction, sewer flushing or street cleaning.
-Do not refill or top off decorative fountains.

For more information visit,

North Marin Water District

The district is asking customers in the Novato service area to voluntarily reduce use by 20% compared with the same time last year. There is a drought surcharge of $1 per 1,000 gallons (more than 300 gallons per day) in effect July through October. Residential customers using less than 300 gallons per day are not subject to the surcharge. Find more info for Novato customers here.

The district is imposing water use restrictions effective July 1 including bans on washing down exterior paved areas, using water for dust control on construction sites and washing cars without a hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle. Find a full list of restrictions here.

For more information on the district visit

Napa Water

There are no mandatory restrictions but the district has a goal to reduce summer water use by 15% from last year.

The district recommends the following ways to cut water use:

-Reduce lawn watering to two days per week or water one less day per week than you did last year.
-As always, avoid overspray and runoff — sidewalks do not need to be watered.
-Hand-water dry areas rather than running sprinklers to excess.

Find more information at

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

There are no mandatory restrictions. The district is asking customers to improve water efficiency to voluntarily reduce irrigation use by 10%. 

Find more information at

Solano County Water District

There are no mandatory restrictions.

Get water-saving tips and more information at

Sonoma Water

There are no mandatory restrictions but the district is encouraging customers to reduce water usage by 20%.

Find more information at

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