Mandatory Drought Restrictions
Resolution No. 10961Since the adoption of Ordinance 05-14, and subsequent approval of Resolution 10865, Level 1 and 2 water use restrictions, water use in the City of Orange, along with most of the rest of the state, has been steadily declining. The overall state water conservation effort, along with the resulting winter rainfall, has resulted in a change in the water supply conditions across the state. The Governor’s latest Executive Order, B-37-16, on May 13, 2016, recognized the change in water supply conditions and tasked the SWRCB to adjust emergency water conservation regulations through the end of January 2017.
The new stance from the Governor has given water agencies some latitude to match water restrictions with the unique conditions each agency faces in dealing with and maintaining a dedicated water conservation effort that meets conservation goals moving forward. In June, 2016, staff in coordination with Municipal Water District of Orange County developed and submitted to the SWRCB the water conservation target level that indicated Orange as having sufficient water supplies to satisfy its demands.
In rescinding the Level 1 and 2 – Water Alert – Water Supply Shortage, the components of Level 1 and 2 would be replaced with the permanent provisions of Ordinance 05-14 and would remain in force and include the following:
- Watering or irrigation of landscaping is prohibited between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm
- Watering or irrigation of landscaping is limited to no more than 15 minutes per day per station.
- Washing down hard or paved surfaces such as driveways, streets, sidewalks, etc. is prohibited.
- Watering or irrigation of landscaping in a manner that causes or allows excessive run-off onto driveways, streets, sidewalks, etc. is prohibited.
- Using water to wash a vehicle is prohibited except by hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle.
- Obligation to fix leaks within 7 days.
- Re-circulating water required for water fountains and decorative water features.
Additionally, the irrigating of ornamental turf on public street medians is permanently prohibited by the SWRCB.
To view the Resolution No. 10961, visit the document management portal website.
Due to the long-term drought facing California and in response to the State of Emergency declared by Governor Brown, the Orange City Council adopted Ordinance 05-14 at their October 14, 2014 meeting.
Ordinance 05-14, the City of Orange Water Conservation and Water Supply Shortage Program, is meant to help conserve the available water supply and provide a contingency plan in times of drought or other water emergencies. The new conservation requirements include:
- Watering or irrigation of landscaping is prohibited between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.
- Watering or irrigation of landscaping is limited to no more than 15 minutes of watering per station on days allowed.
- Watering landscape areas during and within 48 hours of measurable rainfall is prohibited.
- Washing down hard or paved surfaces such as driveways, streets, sidewalks, and more is prohibited.
Watering or irrigation of landscaping in a manner that causes or allows excessive runoff onto driveways, streets, sidewalks, and more is prohibited.
Using water to wash a vehicle is prohibited except by hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle.
- Obligation to fix leaks within 7 days.
- For a complete list of the current water restrictions, visit the document management portal website.
Ways to Conserve Water Outside the Home
Water your lawn only when it needs it - A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller, to three inches (depending on the type of grass), will also promote water retention in the soil.
Water during the early parts of the day and avoid watering on windy days - Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus (water before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.). Early watering and late watering also reduces water lost to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when its windy as wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.
Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns - Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be "top dressed" with compost or organic matter. You can greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, beds, and lawns by:
- The strategic placement of soaker hoses
- Installing a rain barrel water catchment system
- Installing a simple drip irrigation system
Avoid over-watering plants and shrubs, as this can actually diminish plant health and cause yellowing of the leaves, and when hand watering, use a variable spray nozzle for targeted watering.
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs, and plants
Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings - Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they are not as visible, but they can be just as wasteful as a leak indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.
Saving Water Saves You Money
Currently, the City of Orange is partnered with Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), offering many different indoor and outdoor rebates and incentives as well as free of charge water saving programs to all of our customers. To learn more about these programs and how to apply, please visit the Orange County (OC) Water Smart website. In addition, the website also provides useful information about other water conservation topics such as OC Storm Water Program, Garden Friendly Program, California Friendly Landscape Resources, Water Saving Tips, H2Os for HOAs and more. If you have further questions about Water Conservation in the City of Orange, please contact the Public Works Water Division at (714) 288-2475.