The City of Davis announced today the Davis City Council voted unanimously to implement watering restrictions for sprinkler irrigation. At their meeting on October 19, 2021, the City Council also reaffirmed the request for a voluntary 15% reduction in water usage city-wide. If the voluntary state-wide reduction in water-use is not met, the State may look to require mandatory water-use reductions in Spring 2022.
“We thank our water customers for their ongoing water conservation efforts,” said Mayor Gloria Partida. “Further reducing water usage in the winter months, when landscapes need less water, will aid the community to be proactive stewards of the City’s environmental resources, and work toward meeting the voluntary state-wide reduction goals.”
The ongoing dry weather and drought conditions in California have contributed to the City relying on groundwater supplies more heavily, as surface water from the Sacramento River is more limited during extended dry periods. Through the winter months, it is anticipated that surface water will make-up approximately 50% of the winter water supply, similar to this past summer. In most years, surface water provides approximately 90% of the winter water supply. Water conservation can help to reduce water demands city-wide, and ensure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.
The new watering schedule for sprinkler irrigation use only applies to sprinkler/spray irrigation and does not apply to other methods of irrigation such as drip systems and hand-watering. The restrictions that will be in place as of November 1, 2021, are outlined below:
- From November 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022: Two days per week. For residential and commercial properties watering will follow an odd/even schedule:
- Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Saturday
- Even numbered addresses: Wednesday, Sunday
- From March 1, 2022 to when Council lifts or modifies restrictions: Three days per week. For residential and commercial properties watering will follow an odd/even schedule:
- Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Even numbered addresses: Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
- Parks and large landscapes are not subject to the odd/even schedule restrictions listed for residential and commercial customers
The watering restrictions are a preventative measure to assist the City in reducing water usage through the winter months and to bring the City closer to meeting the Governor’s call for a voluntary 15% reduction. Landscape irrigation needs decrease in the fall with cooler weather and less evapotranspiration (the loss of water to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration). The average winter water-use for 2018 to 2020 for single-family properties in Davis was 8 CCF, which is approximately half of the average summer water use when irrigation is used more heavily.
Sprinkler/spray irrigation is not a good option for watering trees and can damage the tree trunk. Tree watering by other methods (e.g. drip irrigation, soaker hose, hand-watering) is not limited. For information on tree watering, please visit the City’s Urban Forestry at: https://www.cityofdavis.org/
Also check Tree Davis at: https://www.treedavis.org/
Additional steps to reduce water-use outdoors include:
- Keeping your irrigation efficient and fixing leaks. A hole as small as the tip of a pen in an irrigation line can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month. Check your irrigation system (spray or drip) for leaks.
- Watering late at night or early in the morning. This can save 25 gallons each time you water.
- Placing mulch around trees and plants. Mulch helps to reduce moisture evaporation from your soil and can save 20 to 30 gallons each time you water.
- Prioritizing your plantings. Prioritize tree watering over turf to ensure that trees are receiving adequate water over the summer.
- Using AquaHawk to manage your water usage. Careful water-use management is the best tool to use to catch and repair irrigation issues and leaks more quickly. If you aren’t already registered, learn more at www.SaveDavisWater.org
For longer-term ways to reduce water use, the City encourages the community to consider utilizing greywater to supplement your irrigation, harvesting rainwater in the winter months, modernizing your appliances, switching to drip irrigation, or converting unused turf to low water-use plants.
Along with the above watering restrictions for sprinkler irrigation, the other permanent mandatory water-use restrictions remain in place. Some of these restrictions include:
- No watering outdoors between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- No watering during periods of rain or for 48 hours after measurable rainfall
- No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches
- No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation
The full list of restrictions on water use can be found on the City’s webpage at www.SaveDavisWater.org (just click on “Drought Information and Water Use Restrictions” on the right side of the page).
Visit www.SaveDavisWater.org for more water conservation tips, drought information and the list of mandatory water use restrictions. Visit www.Water.CityofDavis.org for more information on City water sources and drought conditions.