What are the District's Water Conservation "rules"?

The District's Water Conservation "rules" and Shortage Stages are described in detail here. A summary of the District's year-round water conservation BMPs and the Shortage Stages are provided below. 


The District's Best Management Practices (BMPs) are in effect at all times and are permanent. The following is a summarized list (full text of Ordinance 2021-05-05). These water waste prohibitions are meant to conserve the District's water supplies:

  • Limit on watering landscapes to between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. (exceptions for watering with a bucket; a hose with a shutoff nozzle; or with drip irrigation)
  • No irrigation during or after rainfall for 48 hours
  • Limit incidental runoff from irrigation
  • No washing down of impervious surfaces (exception for sanitary hazards)
  • Washing of vehicles permissible with use of hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle
  • Obligation to fix leaks within 7 days
  • Decorative water features must be equipped with a water re-circulating device
  • No installation of single-pass cooling systems
  • No irrigating turf with potable water on public medians


The following are the stages of water shortage which may be declared by the District's Board of Directors to respond to a water shortage condition. Click each Stage on the left for a summary of the water shortage response actions that may be implemented. 

  • Water Shortage Stage 1 - Water Shortage Warning:  1-10% water shortage
  • Water Shortage Stage 2 - Moderate Water Shortage:  11-20% water shortage
  • Water Shortage Stage 3 - Significant Shortage Warning:  21-30% water shortage
  • Water Shortage Stage 4 - Severe Shortage Warning:  31-40% water shortage
  • Water Shortage Stage 5 - Critical Shortage Warning:  41-50% water shortage
  • Water Shortage Stage 6 - Emergency Shortage Warning:  over 50% water shortage

Show All Answers

1. Where does our water come from?
2. What are the District's Water Conservation "rules"?
3. Who is the Metropolitan Water District?
4. How much does our water cost to import?
5. How does SMWD determine its water rates?
6. What are the current water and sewer rates?
7. How does the District's tiered rate structure work?
8. What can I do to lower my bill?
9. Why do I pay a power surcharge?
10. Does SMWD offer a low income rate?
11. Why does my tax bill show an increase in a SMWD improvement district bond levy?
12. What has SMWD done to reduce its dependency on imported water?
13. What is gray water? Can I use it?
14. What are the official rules and regulations concerning water, recycled water and wastewater service?