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San José

Outdoor watering with potable water now prohibited between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

In alignment with state actions, yesterday the San José City Council declared an emergency drought and a 20 percent water shortage citywide. The declaration triggers another water use restriction under San José Municipal Code by prohibiting the use of potable (drinking) water to irrigate landscaping between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The new time restriction on the use of potable water is effective immediately. Irrigating with grey water or recycled water during these designated daylight hours is allowed.

The Council’s action supports the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s call for Santa Clara County residents and businesses to reduce their water use by 20 percent, as well as the Governor’s call for a 20 percent reduction statewide.

With a shrinking water supply across the state, residents and businesses in San José are asked to help preserve drinking water and cut back on their water use. Reducing outdoor watering may be the easiest way for many to achieve the 20 percent reduction goal, given that outdoor irrigation accounts for roughly half of the average water bill.

Watering in the evening or early morning hours, as called for with San José’s new daylight watering restriction, means less water evaporates. Less water can be used and the landscape will absorb more of it.

Water retailers serving San José and the Water District promote these actions to reduce outdoor water use:

Fix any leaking or broken sprinkler heads and irrigation systems as soon as possible.

Sweep – don’t hose down – paved surfaces such as patios, sidewalks and driveways. If you must wash them, use grey water, not drinking water.

Reduce watering to no more than twice a week (or every three days).

“Brown is the new green” for lawns; a brownish lawn will come back with cooler weather.

Make sure hoses have a nozzle that shuts off automatically when released—this can save many gallons of water.

Use drought tolerant plants in new landscaping. Consider getting a Water District rebate to replace your thirsty lawn and plants; at $2.00 per square foot, replacing 500 square feet of lawn could qualify for a $1,000 rebate.

Other practical tips—such as shorter showers and catching shower water in a bucket while it warms up are encouraged. For a range of tips on water conservation and information on rebates, visit the Water Conservation webpage at


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