Santa Barbara City Council Declares Stage Two Drought & Regulations

 A Stage Two Drought was declared by the Santa Barbara City Council on May 20, 2014. The City is requiring a 20% reduction in water usage from our community to help reduce the projected water supply shortage. 50% of our water used in the City is for landscaping. Customers watering their landscaping are encouraged to reduce water usage by more than 20%.

Santa Barbara is experiencing an unprecedented drought, with the driest consecutive three years on record. Currently, City water supplies are severely reduced in capacity with Lake Cachuma at 37% and the State Water Project deliveries are projected at 5%. We have no water to waste.

As part of the Stage Two Drought Declaration, the City Council adopted Water Use Regulations which are:

  • Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Washing of pavement and other hard surfaces is generally prohibited.
  • Irrigation is limited to evening and early morning hours. (For specific hours, see website.)
  • Cars and boats must be washed at commercial facilities that recycle the water, or by hose with shut-off nozzle.
  • Use of water in ornamental water features and fountains is prohibited except: if located indoors or on residential properties; for fountains that have a total water surface area less than or equal to 25 ft.²; or as of May 20, 2014 are home to aquatic life.
  • Pools and spas must be equipped with a cover when not in use.
  • No draining of pools by more than one third, unless authorized.
  • Drought notices required in restaurants and hotels; water served on request only.
  • Gyms, pools and other businesses providing showers must post drought notices and promote limitation of shower use.

The best way to reduce water usage now is by evaluating landscape watering and checking for leaks inside and out. The City’s Water Conservation Program is available to help everyone save water. For help evaluating water use and conservation opportunities, call 564-5460 to schedule a free water checkup.

 For more information, visit

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