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Smart Water Use

Water Shortage Contingency Plan


PCWA's Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines actions the agency and customers should take during drought or a water shortage emergency.

You can find the full plan here.

Per the State Water Resources Control Board's emergency regulations adopted on May 24, 2022, PCWA has moved to Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

Stage 1 “Heighten Water Use Efficiency” - 10% Conservation -The following best practices are voluntary and will be reinforced through local and regional public education and awareness measures that may be funded in part by PCWA.

  1. Wash only full loads when washing dishes or clothes.
  2. Use pool covers to minimize evaporation.
  3. Upgrade to water efficient indoor and outdoor fixtures when possible.
  4. Fix leaks or faulty sprinklers within 72 hours of occurrence or time of discovery.
  5. Decorative water features must recirculate and shall be leak proof.
  6. Water shall be confined to the customer's property and shall not be allowed to run off to adjoining property, roadside, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, ditch or gutter or any other impervious service. Care shall be taken not to water past the point of soil saturation.
  7. No landscape watering shall occur during rain/snow events or within 48 hours after a ¼” or more of rainfall/snowfall.
  8. Automatic shut-off devices shall be installed on any hose or filling apparatus in use.
  9. Unauthorized use of hydrants shall be prohibited. Authorization for use must be obtained from PCWA.
  10. Commercial, industrial, institutional equipment must be properly maintained and in proper working order.
  11. Hotels and motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered. The hotel or motel shall prominently display notice of this option in each bathroom using clear and easily understood language.
  12. Restaurants shall serve water to customers only upon request.
  13. All new landscaping shall, at a minimum, adhere to the specifications outlined in the State's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance adopted by the California Department of Water Resources or specifications of any land use jurisdiction in effect. Link to ordinance here: Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.

Stage 2 - “Water Conservation”, up to 20% Conservation - In addition to the above, the following actions are mandatory during Stage 2.

  1. Resale water suppliers to which PCWA provides water are advised to implement conservation measures comparable to those adopted by PCWA, to achieve the same level conservation. Coordinated messaging will be important to achieve regional requirements imposed by the state.
  2. Landscapes shall only be watered between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. to reduce evaporation. Plant containers, trees, shrubs, and vegetable gardens may be watered outside of this watering timeframe if using only drip irrigation, hand watering, or smart controller systems.
  3. Turf watering shall be limited to a maximum of three days per week during the months of July, August, and September, a maximum of two days per week in April, May, June, October and November, and shall not be watered during the remaining winter months unless PCWA notifies customers that watering is allowed due to unseasonably and extended dry conditions. Plant containers, trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens may be watered any day when using drip irrigation, hand watering or smart controller systems.
  4. Washing down impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks shall be prohibited unless necessary for public health and safety purposes.
  5. Non-essential flushing of mains and fire hydrants shall be prohibited.
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