How much water will you have to conserve? Depends on where you live.

Water-use restrictions vary from one water district to another. Here’s an informative piece from The Orange County Register on the current water restrictions in each water district.

As Californians face a historic drought and looming water-use restrictions, many wonder just how the crisis will trickle down to their house.

The short answer is: It depends.

There are 29 agencies managing residents’ water use in Orange County – either water districts, cities that control their own water affairs or a private utility.

That means water-use restrictions, and approaches to enforcing those restrictions, vary widely.

That’s not going to change. On Tuesday, the state water board set out a broad range of consumption targets for local water districts. Some will have to cut water use by 35 percent compared with 2013; for one, Seal Beach, the hit will be only 10 percent.

In the next month or so, water agencies will decide on specific new restrictions, and then let people know exactly what’s expected of them to achieve those new goals.

In the meantime, officials are asking people to conserve as much as possible while abiding by the current rules, which already offer some sharp contrasts among neighboring cities. Consider that:

• In the South Coast Water District, which serves Dana Point and parts of Laguna Beach, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, homeowners can water their lawns only once a week. Many neighboring districts and cities are more liberal, allowing three-times-a week watering.

• Some water agencies impose fines for flagrant violators; others rely on their customers’ goodwill.

• In Huntington Beach, water violators can face a misdemeanor charge, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum of six months in jail. The city may also install a device to restrict water flow or disconnect water service.

• An increasing number of agencies are switching to tiered rates to curb excessive water use, although a pending court ruling could alter that.

• The Irvine Ranch and Moulton Niguel districts assign budgets to each household based on the number of people in the home, the size of the landscaped area and other factors.

There are commonalities: Almost all local water agencies target outdoor irrigation. Watering of lawns and other landscaping accounts for more than half of the average household’s water use, experts say.

“I still see people running sprinklers in the middle of the day, several times a week, with water going all over the sidewalk,” said Jonathan Volzke, spokesman for the Santa Margarita Water District. “Turn it down, turn it off. A brown yard is just a sign that you’re doing your part. It’s something to be proud of these days.”

Water ordinances also are shifting to meet state mandates. Leaks must be fixed within a few days; washing pavement or a car in the driveway is banned with some exceptions; and restaurants aren’t allowed to serve water unless customers ask for it.

Local water agencies also offer at least $2 per square foot to their customers for replacing lawns with drought-tolerant plants or artificial turf. Other programs for efficient sprinklers and appliances are available, so contact your water agency or check its website.

“We don’t want people to think this is a drought that we just have to get through. People need to get used to it,” Volzke said. “It’s just the new normal.”

CITY OF ANAHEIM

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Irrigating landscaping between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. is prohibited.

• The City Council on April 21 will discuss limiting irrigation to three days a week and prohibiting irrigation 48 hours after rain.

• The city doesn’t have tiered rates, but is considering penalties for violators.

• Up to $3 per square foot is offered for turf removal.

• Information: 714-765-4311 or anaheim.net

CITY OF BREA

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• The city passed a water conservation ordinance in 2009.

• Irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and is limited to no more than 15 minutes per day, per station.

• Billing technicians may make an inquiry call when they notice a sudden spike in water use.

• Information: 714-990-7691 or ci.brea.ca.us

CITY OF BUENA PARK

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• The city has adopted a tiered water rate system for single-family residential customers having a water meter dedicated only for their use.

• Lawn irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and each station may only operate for 15 minutes each cycle.

• Residents 65 or older who are enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy program can qualify for $10 off their bimonthly water bills.

• Information: 714-562-3721 or buenapark.com

EAST ORANGE COUNTY WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent

• Making permanent monthly reporting of water usage, conservation and enforcement actions by local water suppliers.

• Information: 714-538-5815 or eocwd.com

EL TORO WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Irrigation is limited to three days a week April-October and is prohibited 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• If Municipal Water District of Orange County cuts water supply allocations on July 1 as expected, El Toro will consider reducing household water budgets and imposing fines for customers who don’t comply, General Manager Bob Hill said.

• The district’s largest consumer – the golf courses at Laguna Woods Village – are served with recycled water and are not impacted by the state mandate or district allocations.

• Information: 949-837-7050 or etwd.com

CITY OF FOUNTAIN VALLEY

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Watering is prohibited 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and limited to no more than 15 minutes per day per station.

• The city could impose fines of up to $500 for a serious or continued violation.

• Information: 714-593-4600 or fountainvalley.org/199/Water-Division

CITY OF FULLERTON

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Irrigation is prohibited 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• During a water shortage, the city may increase water rates. The increase in water rates, which could average about up to 10 percent above the pre-shortage rates, may vary among categories of customers.

• Information: 714-738-6746 or cityoffullerton.com

CITY OF GARDEN GROVE

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• No watering of lawns and landscaping 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

• New commercial car washes and laundry operations must install recirculating water systems.

• Information: 714-741-5395 or ci.garden-grove.ca.us

GOLDEN STATE WATER CO.

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent (Cowan Heights), 25 percent (Placentia), 20 percent (West Orange)

• The private utility company would have to get any changes first approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.

• The company has requested to add a tier to its billing, which means that customers who use excessive water would be charged even more than they are now, starting in 2016 to 2018.

• Information: gswater.com

CITY OF HUNTINGTON BEACH

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Irrigation is prohibited 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is limited to no more than 15 minutes per day per station. Watering is limited to three days per week April-October.

• City staff will recommend to the council to raise the water management level, which limits irrigation to two days per week and prohibits initial filling and refilling of more than 1 foot of residential pools and spas.

• The city has a uniform rate for all water use, but is developing an allocation-based tiered structure that will be presented to the City Council.

• Information: 714-536-5511 or huntingtonbeachca.gov

IRVINE RANCH WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• The district has used allocation-based conservation rate structures for nearly 25 years.

• Allocations change with the weather throughout the year. The allocation goes up automatically when the weather is hotter or windier, and goes down when cooler or cloudy.

• Information: 949-453-5300 or irwd.com

CITY OF LA HABRA

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent

• Irrigation is allowed two days per week.

• The City Council is expected to discuss in mid-May whether to increase turf removal rebates to $3 per square foot from $2.

• Information: 562-383-4170 or lahabracity.com

CITY OF LA PALMA

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor watering of landscaping is restricted to three days per week. Landscape watering must be completed overnight between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. and is limited to no more than 15 minutes per day per station.

• City-owned facilities, parks, and medians will be watered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

• Information: 714-690-3310 or cityoflapalma.org

LAGUNA BEACH COUNTY WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days per week and only before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

• The district has had a budget-based tiered rate structure for more than four years. About 82 percent of customers stay within their water budget.

• The district offers $3 per square foot for turf removal.

Information: 949-494-1041 or lbcwd.org

MESA WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is prohibited 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

• The district may restrict water flow or stop service for repeat violators.

• District officials said the district probably wouldn’t need to alter rates to meet the governor’s mandates because the current rates have spurred conservation.

• Information: 949-631-1200 or mesawater.org

MOULTON NIGUEL WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• The district adopted a budget-based rate structure in 2011 and then reduced the allotted amount of water for each household in February.

• The district relies on its tiered rates, instead of fines, to penalize heavy water users.

• Up to $3.50 per square foot is offered for turf removal.

• Information: 949-831-2500 or mnwd.com

CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent

• Irrigation is limited to four days a week April-October and two days a week November-March.

• A resident is not allowed to use more than his or her average water consumption over the past three years.

• The city can fine up to $500 for violations.

• Information: 949-644-3011 or newportbeachca.gov

CITY OF ORANGE

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is prohibited between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and allowed for 15 minutes a day.

• Restrictions will remain the same until the state board solidifies the guidelines for reduction, city spokesman Paul Sitkoff said.

• Information: 714-288-2475 or cityoforange.org

CITY OF SAN CLEMENTE

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days per week March-November and one day per week November-February.

• The city’s restrictions only apply to users of the municipal water. Some parts of San Clemente are served by the Santa Margarita and South Coast water districts.

• Information: 949-366-1553 or san-clemente.org

CITY OF SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is prohibited 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and during rain.

• All nonessential water use must cease, including the watering of landscaping at a carwash and the washing of cars on display at a car dealer.

• Since 1991, the city has had budget-based tiered rates, which San Juan is now sued for by its ratepayers. The City Council on April 21 may consider adding penalty charges to the upper tiers of water usage.

• Information: 949-493-1171 or sanjuancapistrano.org

CITY OF SANTA ANA

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is allowed every other day between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

• Residents must cut their water use by 3 percent over the same billing period from the previous year. A second violation will result in a 15 percent surcharge on a water bill. A third violation will result in the installation of a water flow restrictor.

• Information: 714-647-3320 or ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pwa

SANTA MARGARITA WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days a week April-October and one day a week November-March.

• The district board on Friday is expected to discuss whether to move to a higher drought emergency stage, which would reduce outdoor irrigation to two days a week. Also, no new potable water service would be provided under that stage.

• The district will switch to a new budget-based tiered rate structure beginning Jan. 1.

• Information: 949-459-6400 or smwd.com

CITY OF SEAL BEACH

• Cutback mandate: 10 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days per week and no more than 15 minutes per station. Watering must be done between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.

• The city may impose fees or penalties for repeat violators.

• Information: 562-431-2527 or sealbeachca.gov

SERRANO WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days a week before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. for 15 minutes per day.

• Information: 714-538-0079 or serranowater.org

SOUTH COAST WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to one day a week between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. and 10 minutes per station.

• The district is looking at doing a full rate study in the upcoming fiscal year.

• Up to $4 per square foot is offered for turf removal.

• Information: 949-499-4555 or scwd.org

TRABUCO CANYON WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to four days a week April-October and three days a week November-March.

• Watering is prohibited from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and limited to 10 minutes per station per day.

• Flagrant violators could face a daily fine of up to $500.

• Information: 949-858-0277 or tcwd.ca.gov

CITY OF TUSTIN

• Cutback mandate: 25 percent

• The city moved Sunday from voluntary to mandatory compliance with conservation measures. Residents can’t water lawns 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

• Tustin has a seven-tier water rate system. Now, the amount of water residents can use in each tier is cut by 20 percent.

• If residents don’t comply, they can be fined $25 for a first offense. If someone is caught ignoring the restrictions six or more times, they can be fined $70 and their water can be shut off for 24 hours.

• Information: 714-573-3375 or tustinca.org

CITY OF WESTMINSTER

• Cutback mandate: 20 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to four days per week April-October, no longer than 15 minutes per station per day. Watering is limited to two days a week November-March.

• No outdoor watering 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from October to May and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. from June to September.

• The city may impose a fine of up to $250 and install a flow restrictor or stop service.

• Information: 714-894-3796 or westminster-ca.gov/depts/pw/water

YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT

• Cutback mandate: 35 percent

• Outdoor irrigation is limited to three days a week and banned on Sundays.

• The district board may take the next steps in its conservation plan, which could limit irrigation to twice a week in colder months and allow notices to residents who fail to correct leaks within two days.

• Information: 714-701-3000 or ylwd.com
Staff writers Fred Swegles and Keith Sharon contributed to this report.

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