April 7, 2017: Governor Brown declared an end to the drought emergency in California. Water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful watering practices remain in effect.
The City of Palo Alto enforces permanent water use restrictions on wasteful practices such as leaks, runoff, irrigating during and immediately after rainfall, and use of potable water when non-potable water is available. Read about the City's guidelines and efficiency resources below. Current Water Use Restrictions
Flooding or runoff is prohibited.
A shut-off valve is required for hoses used to wash vehicles, buildings, etc.
Potable water for construction uses is prohibited if non-potable water is available.
Broken or defective plumbing and irrigation systems must be repaired or replaced within a reasonable period.
Turf and ornamental landscape* irrigation is not allowed between 10 am and 6 pm, except for hand watering with a bucket or a hose with a shut-off valve.
Water in fountains or other decorative water feature must be recirculated.
Potable water for street sweepers/washers is prohibited if non-potable water is available.
Commercial car washes must use recycled water systems if economically feasible.
Applying water to driveways and sidewalks is prohibited, except where necessary to address an immediate health and safety need or to comply with a term or condition in a permit issued by a state or federal agency.
Irrigating outdoors is prohibited during and within 48 hours after a measurable rainfall.
Restaurants and other food service operations shall serve water to customers only upon request.
Hotels and motels shall provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.
Irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians is prohibited.
Landscape irrigation for new development must comply with state and local building codes.
*“Ornamental landscape” refers to landscaping for purely decorative purposes, to be distinguished from edible gardens or landscapes that provide a function beyond aesthetics.
The City will notify customers when incidents of these water use restrictions are observed. This may be through use of a door hanger, email, phone call or letter. Violations are subject to fines and potential use of a flow restrictor on the water service. Santa Clara County:The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) is the water wholesaler to most cities and water retailers in Santa Clara County. While Palo Alto receives water from a different water supplier, the SFPUC, we work closely with SCVWD on conservation programs. The SCVWD has been asking its water retailers to reduce water use by 20%. View this Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) Monthly Water Tracker Report for updates on water use and savings achieved county-wide and for individual water retailers.
Palo Alto's Water:Palo Alto's water is supplied by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) through the Hetch-Hetchy reservoir and distribution system. Learn more on our water resources page.
Restaurants - contact us for free drinking water table tents. Two styles available - style A or style B. Hotels and motels - contact us for free towel and linen reuse cards. Call (650) 329-2479 to request your set today!
Join us for the Great Race for Saving Water 5-K Fun Run & Walk & Earth Day Festival! April 22, 2017 - A celebration of Earth Day including activities, art, live music, prizes, zoo animals, bike tours, bird walks, food and fun for the whole family. The day starts off at the Palo Alto Baylands Athletic Center with the family-friendly Great Race for Saving Water, a fun 5k race and walk-a-thon for water conservation. Don't miss your chance to chase the "running toilet!"