Drought Response FAQ

1. Is the State mandating residents to conserve more water?
The State prohibits practices that waste water, but has eased the limit of required water conservation. While California is in the fifth year of a historic drought, the Governor’s latest drought-related action established longer-term water conservation measures. Improved supply conditions in northern California and conservation achievements statewide have allowed water agencies, including Anaheim to slightly increase water use. However, we are still asking the community to continue to be proactive in using water wisely in the event the drought continues.

2. What are the mandatory water use restrictions?
  • No watering of outdoor landscapes or turf that cause excess runoff.
  • Must use a shutoff nozzle to wash a motor vehicle.
  • No washing down of driveways and sidewalks with water except to address an immediate health and safety need.
  • Turn off fountains or decorative water features unless the water is recirculated.
  • Must irrigate landscape before 9 a.m. and/or after 6 p.m. Spot watering with a hose and shutoff nozzle, or irrigation system testing for maintenance and repairs is allowed.
  • Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days per week.
  • Restaurants will only serve water when requested by patrons.
  • Hotels/motels will limit laundering linens (upon guest request only).
  • Outdoor irrigation is restricted during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
3. Is there a conservation target?

The City no longer has a State mandated requirement to reduce water demand. This is based on a State issued three year planning horizon stress test. Although the City is not mandated to reduce demand, we are targeting a self‐issued conservation goal of 10%. To reach this goal, and work towards long term sustainability of our water resources, the City is targeting the elimination of outdoor water waste.

4. What is the City doing about the drought?
City Council adopted Plan II of the Water Reduction Ordinance on July 12, 2016, to update mandatory water conservation measures. Plan II limits certain water uses and landscape irrigation to three days per week. The Public Utilities Department with Code Enforcement’s assistance is able to issue fines to water wasters up to $500 per incident. The Department is also providing various rebates to help customers use water wisely.

5. What is the new watering (three days per week) schedule?
The watering schedule is separated between odd and even numbered addresses.
  • Odd numbered addresses can water on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays.
  • Even numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays.
  • Street addresses ending in ½ or any fraction will use the last whole number in the address to determine watering days.
  • No irrigation on Fridays.
  • Spot watering with a hose to maintain trees or plants (other than turf) is allowed.
  • Drip irrigation is exempt.
6. Why were these days chosen?
The distribution of outdoor watering days will avoid concentrating irrigation use on certain days, which could otherwise impact water mains.

7. How long can I water on the three days?
  • Irrigation duration is limited to 8 minutes per station for standard spray head sprinklers and bubblers.
  • Irrigation duration is limited to 15 minutes per cycle and up to two (2) cycles for irrigation systems with high efficiency nozzles.
  • Here are no time limitations for drip irrigation.
8. What happens if I’m unable to water on the designated days?
In the event of special circumstances, the Public Utilities Department can approve alternate irrigation days. The customer may request an alternative compliance plan from Al Shaikh, Principal Civil Engineer at 714.765.5268.

9. What happens if I don’t reduce my water usage? Will there be penalties?
Fines will be imposed on customers that continue to waste water outdoors and do not follow the mandatory water use restrictions. The Public Utilities Department will be working with Code Enforcement to provide a courtesy warning first and a second notice prior to assessing any fines. Fines may be up to $500 in accordance with the new State regulations.

10. Does the City have enough water?
Currently, the answer is yes, because the City has planned for droughts by investing in local water supply projects and regional water storage programs. The City has enough water for all customers and fire protection. However, we are in the fifth year of a historic drought, and the concern is whether or not the next winter will provide new supplies. Therefore, we are asking customers to use water wisely in order to protect our water supplies in case this drought continues.

11. Will my water bill go up?
The City’s water rates are based on the cost to serve its customers, which includes water supplies, operation of the system, capital investments, and any penalties assessed by the state. If water agencies like Anaheim are assessed penalties, or are subject to increases in water supply costs from its wholesale providers, those costs are ultimately paid by customers. Please be assured that Anaheim is one of the lowest cost providers in Orange County, and our average bill is over 20% lower than the average of other Orange County water agencies.

12. Don’t we get most of our water from underground? Are we still required to conserve?
Even though Anaheim is fortunate to receive about 70% of its water from the groundwater basin, we are still subject to the regional issue of lower storage in reserves. Without rainfall in Southern California these reserves do not get replenished.

13. I see a business or neighbor watering all the time. What should I do, report them?
We encourage neighbors to talk to each other about the drought in a positive manner. If some neighbors or businesses are non‐compliant, you are welcome to use Anaheim Anytime http://user.govoutreach.com/anaheim/faq.php or call 311 (714.765.4311) to anonymously report excessive water waste. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO PROVIDE EXACT ADDRESS LOCATION AND IDENTIFY WATER WASTE ISSUE.
14. Am I allowed to fill my pool?
Yes. Currently, there are no restrictions against filling or refilling swimming pools. However, we highly recommend that you consider installing a pool cover to reduce evaporation.

15. Am I allowed to use a water slide or kiddie pool?
Yes. Currently, there are no restrictions against water play, however water running down the driveway and sidewalk is considered waste and not allowed.

16. What can I do to reduce my watering?
The City offers a number of programs and rebates to help customers save water. Start with scheduling a FREE Home Utility Checkup for your home that includes an evaluation of your indoor/outdoor water and energy use. A landscape watering schedule and a personalized report on potential water/energy saving opportunities and available rebates will be provided. Please call 714.939.9020 for your first time appointment.

17. Does the City offer rebates to save water outdoors?
Yes, current rebates include weather‐based irrigation controllers, rotating nozzles, and turf removal. In addition, you may schedule a free Home Utility Checkup for your home that includes water saving devices, a watering schedule and a personalized report on potential water saving opportunities. Please call 714.939.9020 for your first time appointment.

18. Where can I get more information on water rebates?
Please visit www.anaheim.net/savewater and www.socalwatersmart.com

Who to Contact?
Customer Service: 714.765.3300 or 714.765.4311
Anaheim Anytime: http://user.govoutreach.com/anaheim/faq.php 
Email: savewater@anaheim.net