New Water Restrictions for California Restaurants

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted new regulations for water usage, which codifies and expands local water directives, making it mandatory for restaurants not to provide water to patrons unless they request it. These rules officially go into effect in the next ten days to two weeks and will be effective for 270 days.  Read the press release here.

The prohibitions on potable water use, first adopted in 2014, will continue, and new prohibitions will go into effect. All Californians are now prohibited from:

  • washing down sidewalks and driveways;
  • watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
  • washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle; operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system; and
  •  irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation (new).

New Prohibitions affecting commercial businesses include:

  • restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request; and
  • operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.

Fines can be up to $500 a day for noncompliance. For more information, please visit the Emergency Water Conservation website.

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