Skip to main content
Eastern Municipal Water District Home
Save With Us
Water Use Efficiency Requirements

Save With Us

Water Use Efficiency Requirements

EMWD's drought status is currently Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan. 

These policies were originally adopted in 1991, and have been periodically modified to provide long-term water reliability for existing and future customers.

These items can also be found in the Title 5 Article 6 – Water Conservation section of the EMWD Administrative Code.

Permanent Water Use Efficiency Requirements

  1. Hosing down driveways and other hard surfaces, is prohibited except for health or sanitary reasons.
  2. Repair water leaks within 48 hours of occurrence.
  3. Irrigate landscape only between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. except when:
    • manually watering;
    • establishing a new landscape;
    • temperatures are predicted to fall below freezing;
    • it’s for very short periods of time to adjust or repair an irrigation system.
  4. Unattended irrigation systems using potable water are prohibited unless they are limited to no more than fifteen (15) minutes watering per day, per station. This limitation can be extended for:
    • Very low flow drip irrigation systems when no emitter produces more than two (2) gallons of water per hour.
    • Weather based controllers or stream rotor sprinklers that meet a 70% efficiency.
    • Run-off or over watering is not permitted in any case.
  5. Irrigation systems operate efficiently and avoid over watering or watering of hardscape and the resulting runoff.
  6. Excessive water flow or runoff is prohibited.
  7. Decorative fountains must be equipped with a recycling system.
  8. Allowing water to run while washing vehicles is prohibited.
  9. Install new landscaping with low-water demand trees and plants. New turf shall only be installed for functional purposes.
  10. Watering during rain, or within 48 hours after measurable rain, is prohibited.
  11. The requirements listed above should be followed at all times.

Enforcement through Water Budget Based Tiered Rate Structure

Four rate tiers are used to encourage efficient water use by customer groups and discourage wasteful behaviors.

  • Tier 1 – Low Volume rate applies to the first 20 percent of the total water budget used.
  • Tier 2 – Budgeted rate applies to 21 – 100 percent of the total water budget used.
  • Tier 3 – Excessive rate applies to use of water in excess of the total water budget (up to 150 percent of total water budget).
  • Tier 4 – Wasteful rate applies to any and all water used in excess of the Tier 3 limit.

Total water budgets are calculated with the following factors:

  • (Number of people in household) x (55 gallons per person x Drought Factor) x (Number of days in billing cycle)
  • (Square feet of irrigated landscape) x (Evapotranspiration amount x Conservation Factor) x Drought Factor

The conservation factors are as follows:

Accounts installed:Conservation Factor:
Prior to December 31, 20100.8
January 1, 2011 through May 31, 20150.7
As of June 1, 20150.5


Mandatory Water-Efficient Landscaping Requirements

EMWD requires a separate dedicated meter for all landscape areas greater than or equal to 2,500 square-feet, except for single family residential accounts.

The efficient use of water should be considered in the design of any new landscape area. The District will calculate an Annual Maximum Allowable Water Budget (AMAWB) for customers that request a new account.

Prior to the issuance of a meter, the new customer shall calculate a water budget for each landscape area and submit it to the District for review.

New accounts that have to comply with similar or more stringent water use efficiency measures imposed by County and/or City Ordinances, do not need to comply with the above requirements, but do need to provide information about the landscape areas to the District.

California’s Water Supply Conditions 

EMWD Has You Covered 

With California continually facing extreme weather conditions that result in either prolonged dry conditions or periods of significant rainfall, EMWD has you covered with the latest on the statewide and local water supply conditions and regulations.