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BVWD 2015 Drought FAQ

2015 Drought Frequently Asked Questions & Prohibitions of Water Use

What is a Drought Emergency, and what impact does it have on me?

Facing a fourth consecutive dry year and severely reduced water supplies Governor Jerry Brown on April 1 issued an executive order mandating an overall 25 percent statewide reduction in water use.  This unprecedented action reflects the severity of the drought and what is needed from all Californians to ensure conservation-minded indoor water use can be met.  Everyone needs to step up and continue to conserve water. 

What Prohibitions Exist for Water Use:

In additional to the District’s individualized customer allotments, restrictions on limiting outdoor water use to three time per week and limited to between one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted and Emergency Conservation Regulation Effective May 18, 2015, that includes the following:

Prohibited for Everyone:

  • Using potable water to irrigate ornamental turf on public street medians
  • Using potable water to irrigate landscapes of new homes & buildings inconsistent with CBSC & DHCD requirements
  • Using outdoor irrigation during & 48 hours following measurable precipitation
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water
  • Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars
  • Runoff when irrigating with potable water
  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks & driveways

Required for Water Suppliers:

  • Achieve designated conservation standard (4%-36%)
  • Notify customers about leaks that are within the customer's control
  • Report on water use, compliance & enforcement

Required for Business:

  • Hotels & motels must provide guests with the option of not having towels & linens laundered daily
  • Restaurants & other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request

For additional information, visit the State Board Conservation Portal.

How much do District Customers need to conserve?

As mandated by the State Water Board, the District must reduce overall potable water use by 36%!  To accomplish this overall reduction, the District is asking Residential, Rural and Public Institutional customers to reduce 25% below their average historical water use from the previous three unconstrained years (2011, 2012 and 2013).  Commercial customers are asked to reduce 20%.  An exceedance penalty rate of $1.50/HCF is applied to water use exceeding the allotment by up to 120% and $2.50/HCF for all water use thereafter.

When Did the District’s Drought Program go into effect?

The District declared a water shortage emergency on February 27, 2014, and adopted shortage measures that included individualized allotments and exceedance penalties.  Penalties were subsequently eased due to somewhat improved water supply conditions.  On March 23, 2015, the District adopted Stage 3 (severe water shortage) of its water shortage contingency plan due to worsening drought conditions and a historically low water supply allocation from the Central Valley Project (zero for Agricultural Use, 25% of historical use for all other purposes).  The State Board’s Emergency Regulation came effective on May 18, 2015 and beginning on June 1, 2015, the District and every other urban water supplier must comply with the mandated conservation standards.

How can I find my historical water use (2011, 2012 and 2013 water use)?

Customers were mailed their 2011, 2012 and 2013 historical use in May 2014.  If you have lost or misplaced your historical use summary, you can request another by emailing info@bvwd.org or call Customer Service at (530) 241-1085.


When can I Water?

Customers whose street addresses end with an odd number may water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  Customers whose street addresses end with an even number may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. To reduce evaporation, the use of sprinkler irrigation systems for all M&I customers shall be limited to between one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise.  The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall is also prohibited.  A useful outdoor watering schedule is available on our website.


Will the District impose fines for not complying with the water use prohibitions?

Yes.  Pursuant the District’s adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan, any customer in violation of Stage 3 requirements shall be first notified of the regulations and warned of the penalty associated with continued violation.  If the violation is not timely corrected, any continued violation of mandatory Stage 3 requirements after notice and warning is provided shall be punishable by an administrative fine of $200.00 per day or per occurrence.


Why does the District Utilize Water Use From The Prior Three Unconstrained Years (2011, 2012 and 2013) as the Baseline?

The District’s primary source of water is from the CVP through a water service contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and this is the methodology used by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to allocate Central Valley Project (CVP) water supply pursuant their draft M&I shortage policy


What if my historical use is low due to my unique circumstances?

All customers will receive a minimum of 20 HCF bimonthly allotment that is adequate to meet the indoor water requirements for a family of four.  If you have a medical condition, more than four people in your home or other unique circumstances you may apply and qualify for a variance.  A variance form is available on the District’s website.  However, it must be recognized that due to the severity of the present water shortage emergency, the District has very limited ability to grant any exceptions and/or variances, and proof of occupancy will be required


Will we have enough water?

The District can meet conservation-minded water demands through a combination of its Central Valley Project allocation, limited groundwater supply and available water transfers.  If customers stay within their allotments and minimize discretional water use, the District can manage overall water demands in order to preserve our limited supply and we can all minimize impacts to our quality of life and local economy.



Reduce water use, especially outdoors by limiting irrigation.  Consider reducing your irrigated area, sacrificing lawn areas that can be reestablished later, retrofitting irrigation systems for precision placement of irrigation water with drip and micro sprinkler components and landscaping with native and drought tolerant plant materials.

Water outdoor landscapes only on designated water days and times based on your address.  See our Outdoor Watering Schedule BVWD https://www.ruralwaterimpact.com/documents/503/Outdoor_Watering_Schedule.pdf


Do Not…

Water outdoor landscapes on non-designated days, times, or in a manner that causes excessive runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures.  Don’t water outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excessive runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures.


Please visit our website for updates and additional information:  www.bvwd.org

California is in a drought emergency and Californians pull together in times of crisis!

Visit www.SaveOurWater.com for water conservation tips.