Water Conservation

Drought is Here. Save Water.

Our region is in an extreme drought: In 2022, our region had the driest January-March in recorded history. On July 21, 2021, the Windsor Town Council adopted a resolution that mandates a 20 percent water use reduction for all residents, businesses, City facilities, and schools.

This resolution supersedes the voluntary water restriction put in place earlier in 2021 and complies with the State Water Resources Control Board order requiring a 20 percent reduction in diversions from the Russian River. 

Newly adopted Statewide Emergency Drought Regulations

NEW Emergency drought regulations took effect statewide on June 10, 2022 in addition to the regulations effective on January 18, 2022. These new regulations affect Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional water customers, including Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs). These regulations include: 

  1. Commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) nonfunctional turf must not be irrigated. This includes Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs)
  2. Nonfunctional turf is defined by the State as: "Turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events”.
  3. Turf areas are exempt from the turf irrigation ban if one of the following is true:
    1. The turf us used for human recreation, civic purposes, sports or play.
    2. The turf is irrigated with recycled water or other non-potable water, or by groundwater.
    3. Trees and perennial shrubs planted within turf may be watered.
    4. The turf is of a variety of which has a watering factor of 0.3 and is watered at no more than 40% of watering needs for typical turf grass.

For more information on the June 10 emergency drought regulations, visit bit.ly/conservationreg

Emergency drought regulations took effect statewide on January 18, 2022. These regulations were passed by the State Water Board despite recent rains and snowfall throughout the state because of low water storage reserves.

The good news for Windsor is that most of the prohibitions included in the emergency drought regulations are already in effect in Windsor under the Level 2 Water Shortage Declaration passed by Council on July 21.

Prohibitions Affecting the Public in Windsor 

  • New or emptied decorative fountains and ponds may not be filled with potable water.
  • Potable water may not be used to irrigate turf in publicly owned street medians.

Homeowners’ Associations

  • HOAs may not penalize individual homeowners for reducing the irrigation of turf or other landscape or for replacing turf with water efficient alternatives.
  • HOAs may not require individual homeowners to remove water-efficient landscaping which was installed during the declared drought emergency.

Timeframe

These regulations will remain in effect for one year unless the State Board deems them to be unnecessary due to changed conditions or unless the State Board renews them at the end of the one year.

To read the text of the emergency regulations, go to the State Water Resources Control Board at this link

Level 2 Water Shortage Restrictions

  • When washing hard or paved surfaces, a hose with an automatic shut off device, or a low-volume high pressure cleaning machine that recycles used water must be used. 
  • Watering vegetated areas in a manner that causes excessive water flow or runoff onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street, alley, gutter, or ditch is prohibited. 
  • Water leak repairs are to be completed within 72 hours.
  • Automatic shut off nozzles must be used on hoses when washing vehicles.
  • Decorative fountains must recirculate water
  • Irrigation of landscape with an automatic sprinkler system is prohibited between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Hand watering using a container or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle is allowed during these hours.
  • Irrigation of landscape with an automatic sprinkler system is limited to three days per week for residents and businesses. 
  • Restaurants may only serve water upon request. 
  • Hotel and lodging establishments must offer guests the chance to opt out of daily linen service. 

Current Watering Schedule and Restrictions

graph showing water restrictions

  • Reduce outdoor irrigation: The Town recently enacted these outdoor watering restrictions -- remember that the overall goal is to use LESS water:
    • Residents west of Highway 101 should only irrigate on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, 7 PM - 7 AM. (12-hour dusk to dawn period) 
    • Residents east of Highway 101 should only irrigate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 7 PM - 7 AM. (12-hour dusk to dawn period) 

Report leaks or water waste in your neighborhood. Call (707) 838-1004 or fill out this form to report: Water Waste Reporting Form

  • Please go here for information on our Turf Rebate Program. Click here.

Track Your Water Use with WaterSmart

The Town of Windsor's WaterSmart portal can help you better manage your water use and bill. By registering, you can view current and past water consumption, receive leak alerts, notifications, and helpful water-saving tips. 

For more information, click on the WaterSmart link to the Welcome page. For questions or if you need support, please call Utility Billing at 707-838-1004.

Resources
  • Water Supply Conditions: Please go here to see water levels in Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma. Click here.
  • Final 2020 Urban Water Management Plan and Shortage Contingency Plan - Final Version
Contact Us
To reach out to Water Conservation staff, please email us at: wc@townofwindsor.com.