Sacramento city residents could be limited to once-a-week watering starting in July if the city is unable to meet its state-mandated conservation goals, under a proposal outlined by city officials. Paul Kitagaki Jr. Sacramento Bee file
Sacramento city residents could be limited to once-a-week watering starting in July if the city is unable to meet its state-mandated conservation goals, under a proposal outlined by city officials. Paul Kitagaki Jr. Sacramento Bee file

Water & Drought

Sacramento could restrict watering to once a week

By Dale Kasler and Phillip Reese

dkasler@sacbee.com

May 28, 2015 05:44 PM

Sacramento city residents could be limited to once-a-week watering starting in July if the city is unable to meet its state-mandated conservation goals, under a proposal outlined by city officials.

Currently, city residents are limited to twice-a-week outdoor watering.

In a memo to City Council for its meeting next Tuesday, city staffers recommended a series of steps to meet Sacramento’s state-mandated 28 percent reduction in water consumption over the next nine months. Those steps include stepping up the city’s “water patrols” with increased monitoring during the morning, evening and weekends, as well as greater incentives to get residents to tear out turf.

Staffers said they’ll recommend tougher watering restrictions if the plan doesn’t seem to be working.

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“If this action plan does not achieve the targeted reductions by July 15, 2015, staff will quickly return to Council with a recommendation to implement Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, which includes one day per week watering restrictions.”

All of the region’s large water districts now restrict the number of days their residential customers can water landscaping. Many have pledged to fine residents who repeatedly flout the rules.

Seventeen local water districts restrict lawn watering to two days per week. Two allow it one day a week: West Sacramento and the Sacramento County Water Agency. Four allow it three days per week: Fair Oaks, Davis, Woodland and El Dorado Hills.

The state Water Resources Control Board has ordered cities and suburbs to cut water usage by an average of 25 percent between now and next February as California copes with the fourth year of drought. The amounts vary according to past consumption patterns, and many of the water districts in the Sacramento region will have to cut their usage by 28 to 36 percent.