Water & Drought

Are businesses exempt from water conservation rules?

Q: Are businesses exempt from water conservation rules? Example: A friend of mine was visiting and I asked why his vehicle was covered with mud. He stated it was because the hotel where he was staying ran their sprinklers every morning and the water runoff was everywhere. – Rita Ullrich, Sacramento

Q: As homeowners we are limiting our water use. I would like to know what businesses are going to do? For example, many Sacramento businesses water their landscape to such an extent that it overflows and runs down into the street for a considerable time. – Brian Lambert, Sacramento

A: Businesses are generally required to follow the same water conservation rules as homeowners. That is the case with virtually every water agency in the Sacramento region. And it goes for landscape watering rules as well as the general call to reduce consumption by 20 percent, the conservation target set recently by most agencies in the region.

If you see a business watering its landscape on the wrong day or time, or watering wastefully (such that it floods into streets and gutters), you can report this to the appropriate water agency. To find out which agency that is, you can start by noting the address of the business. Then you can use The Bee’s map of area water agencies to find out who provides water to that business. The map can be found at this link: Sacramento Bee water agency map. The Sacramento Regional Water Authority offers a similar map tool.

There may be exceptions, depending on where the business is located. For instance, San Juan Water District officials have said that businesses that are highly dependent on water, such as plant nurseries, may not be required to meet the same conservation rules. On the other hand, some businesses are required to comply with additional rules. Restaurants within the San Juan district, for instance, have been directed not to serve water unless a customer asks.

Submit your question for The Sacramento Bee’s water team.