City of San Diego Adopts NEW Emergency Water Regulations
Monday, June 29, 2015
by: Craig Benedetto, BOMA San Diego Legislative Consultant

Section: Government Affairs

Action taken in response to the Governor’s executive order and the historic drought in California:
The San Diego City Council, on Monday, June 29, 2015, adopted a set of amendments to the Emergency Water Restrictions in the municipal code.  The amendments come in response to the Governor’s Executive Order B-29-15 (EO), which mandate substantial water reductions across the State of California.

Following the order, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted percentage reductions required of all water agencies, ranging from 8%-36% to get to the 25% average reduction the Governor indicated in his EO.  In the City of San Diego, the reduction target was set at 16%.
In order for the City to meet these State mandated requirements, the Council adopted new amendments which would also help enforce the new water restrictions, as well as clarify the existing restrictions previously adopted.
The amendments, in short, are:

  • Not allow irrigation within 48 hours of measureable rain (with a definition of measurable rain being 1/8th of an inch)

  • Allow the City to reduce the assigned watering days and irrigation run times for customers (commercial customers are allowed to irrigate only on Mondays and Fridays)

    • New restrictions are now 2 days per week (down from 3 days)

    • For 5 minutes per station (down from 7 minutes)

  • Revise text to clarify restrictions related to the washing of paved areas to conform with storm water regulations and restrictions

  • Provide definitions for recreational and ornamental fountains (the vast majority of which are not allowed to operate accept for maintenance)

  • Change the time of the day allowed for watering and washing vehicles to before 10:00 am and after 6:00 pm year round

  • Eliminate winter watering differences and have restrictions applied the same year round

  • Place a restriction on maximum run time for non-standard spray irrigation heads

  • Add a provision to allow the Park and Recreation Department to irrigate parks according to a schedule set by the City Manager and consistent with the Emergency Water Regulations while providing the flexibility to protect landscapes that support recreation and public benefit

More information on the City’s restrictions, and rules can be found on the City website at:

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