Lawn sprinklers
Sprinklers watering a Southern California lawn. Courtesy Metropolitan Water District

Lawn watering will be restricted to three days per week in San Diego beginning Friday amid a record drought that has largely spared the region until now.

The city is moving to “Level 2” restrictions following an executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom calling for conservation throughout California. 

“We are asking San Diegans to take these steps now, so we can help avoid a more dire situation in the near future,” said Juan Guerreiro, director of the city’s Public Utilities Department.

The restrictions that go into effect Friday are:

  • Areas with no irrigation system must use a hand-held hose with a shutoff nozzle, hand-held container, or a garden hose sprinkler system on a timer. 
  • Irrigation is prohibited during and within 48 hours of rain. 
  • Landscape irrigation is limited to no more than three days per week before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. This does not apply to commercial growers or nurseries. 
  • Use of recycled or non-potable water, when available, is required for construction purposes. 
  • Washing of vehicles at residences is prohibited. Washing is still permitted at commercial car washes.

Most of the city’s water is supplied by the San Diego County Water Authority. Although the water authority’s supplies are currently stable, the dire drought in Northern California and throughout the West requires all water customers to help reduce use.  

To reduce its need for imported water, the city is developing drought-proof local supplies by constructing the Pure Water recycling system that will provide San Diego with nearly 50% of its drinking water by 2035. 

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Ellen Bullock