What are the voluntary water use guidelines set by the ordinance?

Voluntary water use guidelines recommend the following indoor and outdoor water conservation measures to help reduce water use.


  • Find and repair leaks as soon as possible
  • Replace older, inefficient, and high flow plumbing fixtures (e.g. toilets, showerheads, faucets, clothes washers) with newer, water-efficient models
  • Adopt everyday water conservation practices, such as reducing shower times, running dishwashers and washing machines with full loads only, and turning off the water when brushing teeth, shaving, and washing hands
  • Restaurants should serve water to customers only when requested
  • Hotels should provide guests with the option to not have towels and linens changed and laundered daily


  • Remove lawn and install low water use plants instead
  • Irrigate landscape before 10 a.m. to minimize evaporation
  • Prioritize water for trees and water trees gradually but deeply by hand or using a drip irrigation system
  • Use non-potable water from rainwater capture or water collected from indoor uses (e.g. shower warm up water or water used to rinse vegetables) for landscape irrigation
  • Evaluate irrigation systems to find and repair leaks
  • Wash cars at a commercial car wash that recycles water

For the full list of guidelines, please refer to ACWD’s Water Shortage Emergency Ordinance at acwd.org/WSEOrdinance.

Show All Answers

1. How long will the water shortage emergency last and restrictions remain in place?
2. Is drought a result of climate change?
3. How do I take care of my trees?
4. What if I have special circumstances and need to use water for an item that is considered a mandatory restricion?
5. I’m already saving water. What more can I do to conserve? How am I supposed to conserve an additional 15%?
6. What are the maximum irrigation days per week allowed?
7. Why has ACWD declared a water shortage emergency?
8. What water use is prohibited during the water shortage emergency?
9. I understand the days per week that I can water my lawn is limited. How long should I water each day?
10. How did ACWD determine the irrigation schedule outlined in the drought ordinance?
11. I have noticed water waste occurring in my neighborhood, at work, etc. How do I report it?
12. What is the ban on non-functional turf for commercial, industrial, and institutional customers passed by the State of California?
13. What is "non-functional" turf?
14. How do you determine if turf is considered functional or non-functional?
15. Are there exemptions to the non-functional turf ban for commercial, industrial, or institutional properties or HOA common areas?
16. What is a water shortage emergency?
17. When will the water supply emergency go into effect?
18. Does ACWD have water use restrictions due to the drought?
19. How does the water shortage emergency and ordinance affect customers?
20. What are the voluntary water use guidelines set by the ordinance?
21. What if I see someone violating the ordinance mandatory restrictions?
22. What is the penalty for violating the ordinance?
23. What recommendations does ACWD have for landscape irrigation during drought?
24. I have noticed some parks and sports fields being irrigated more than the schedule outlined in the ordinance. Why is this happening?
25. Why is the use of decorative water fountains prohibited by ACWD's Ordinance Declaring a Water Shortage Emergency and Adopting Water Use Regulations, Restrictions, and Guidelines?
26. Do I need to let my lawn dry out? Will my lawn die due to the reduced irrigation schedule?
27. Does ACWD have enough water?
28. Why is new development and construction allowed during drought and even during this water shortage emergency?
29. I am interested in water conservation. What rebates does ACWD offer residential and commercial customers?
30. I want to put in a new lawn; if I do, will there be restrictions on how much I can water it?
31. Why doesn't your lawn removal rebate program cover artificial turf or concrete if replacing my lawn with these saves water?
32. What is ACWD doing to reduce its water use?
33. Are there any restrictions for draining and filling my pool?
34. Why is the District flushing mains in a drought?
35. Why are some fire hydrants open with water discharging?
36. Why doesn't ACWD recapture the water discharged from fire hydrants in the Main Cleaning Program?
37. Does the State of California offer a lawn removal rebate program I can participate in?
38. Will you be raising your $2/square foot rebate amount for your lawn removal program?
39. Will the District raise rates because of the drought?
40. With drought and fire season approaching, do you offer rebates for removal of other types of landscape, like trees?
41. If my water supply is terminated, how can I restore it?