Water Conservation FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers About Water Conservation And What To Do To Save Water

Are we still in a drought?

No, Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic five-year drought in April. However, we should continue to do our part to prevent water waste and make water conservation a way of life.

Is there still a mandatory reduction of water use throughout the state?

No, this statewide mandatory reduction has been lifted with the exception of a few areas. Santa Ana residents are no longer required to meet water use reduction targets.

What is Santa Ana’s new Water Use Efficiency Program? 

We launched a new Water Use Efficiency Program, which prohibits wasteful practices and calls for the following mandatory restrictions for residential and business water users:

  • Outdoor water is restricted to evenings between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
  • Leaks must be repaired within 72 hours of notification by the City.
  • No washing down sidewalks or driveways.
  • No excessive water flow or runoff that causes water to flow onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter or ditch.
  • No washing vehicles with a hose, unless the hose is fitted wit h a shut-off nozzle.
  • No operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system.
  • No outdoor watering during and 48 hours following measurable rainfall.

How can I reduce my family’s water use? 

According to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), the amount of water Orange County residents use each day averages 140 gallons per person. The first step to saving water is to comply with the City’s new Water Efficiency Program (see below). There are other simple changes you can make to your daily routine that can add up to big savings.

  • Shorten your shower by 5 minutes. (Save 12 gallons of water a day.)
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and shave. (Save up to 2.5 gallons per minute.)
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes instead of smaller partial loads. (Save between 15 and 50 gallons of water per load.)

How can I reduce my business water use?

Every business is different and every solution is different. Businesses are required to comply with the City’s new Water Efficiency Program (see below). Some other suggested activities that can help most businesses reduce water use include:

  • Installing high-efficiency urinals and toilets in restrooms.
  • Upgrading water using fixtures such as cooling towers, pre-rinse spray nozzles, and washing machine.
  • Restaurants and hotels must meet additional state requirements. To help them comply, the City provides water conservation tent cards and decals free of charge to Santa Ana restaurants and hotels. For details and to order your free materials, visit our Restaurants and Hotel Program.

Will I be cited by the City’s Community Preservation Division if my front yard lawn turns yellow?

No. You will not be cited for complying with the City’s current outdoor watering restrictions. However, all other code violations will continue to be cited.

I am interested in replacing my lawn with something else. What can I do?

You can visit Santa Ana's Lawn-to-Garden Program for ideas, sample designs, training, guidelines and other resources for water smart landscapes. Unfortunately, turf removal incentives are no longer being offered region-wide in Metropolitan Water District’s service area because funding has been exhausted.

How about the parkway, am I responsible for that too?

Yes. Although the parkway is in the City’s right of way, it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and keep it clean.

My neighbor is always wasting water. What is the City doing about it?

There are ways to report water wasting. You can call our water hotline at (714) 647-3500, email us at conservewater@santa-ana.org, or use our "mySantaAna" smart phone app. Please try to include the exact location and pictures.

What is the City of Santa Ana doing to conserve water? What can I do if I see a city park or other city facility over-watering or watering on the wrong day?

The City is held to the same restrictions as residents and businesses. We have stopped watering ornamental turf on public street medians as well as flushing our fire hydrants unless necessary to maintain water quality. We also moved to a two-day watering schedule (evenings only) for all public building landscapes and parks. If you ever see water being wasted by the City, please use the ways mentioned above to report them.

I have fixed all leaks and fine-tuned my irrigation system, what else can I do?

We all can do more. Look for opportunities to conserve water throughout your home and in your daily routines, including washing hands, taking showers, and doing the laundry. Keep in mind, whenever water flows from the faucet to the drain with nothing in between, you are wasting water! Get our water saving tips here and visit any of these sites to learn more about how to save water:

 I live in an apartment; do I need to cut back on my water use too?

Yes! Living in an apartment or a house makes no difference when it comes to water conservation. You can focus on reducing your indoor water use like washing only full loads of laundry and dishes, taking shorter showers, and shutting off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving. Visit the sites listed above for more ways on how to conserve water indoors.