Water Conservation

Governor Brown Water Conservation Mandate Update
On April 1, 2015, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order that directs the State Water Board to impose restrictions to achieve a statewide 25% reduction in urban water use through February 28, 2016.

What is the City Doing in Response?
The State Water Board is preparing emergency regulations that will carry out the directions in the Governors recently released Executive Order.  They have indicated that they will release those regulations in mid-April. In addition, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) is meeting in mid-April and  determining the level of mandatory cutbacks for the water agencies they supply with water, which includes the City of Thousand Oaks.

Staff will provide an update to Council at the April 14 City Council meeting. Staff will also be returning to Council on May 26 to adopt additional City-specific water conservation measures after we have had an opportunity to review the Water Boards emergency regulations and MWD has adopted their policy.

Current City Conservation Measures
The City has permanent water conservation measures in place as well as pre-defined water conservation tiers depending on the severity of the drought.  You can find the ordinance at www.toaks.org/savewater in the conservation section.


How is the 25% water usage reduction measured?
The mandates fall on the water agencies to reduce water usage by 25 percent statewide, not on individual residences. The reductions are also measured against prior years. Therefore, the City will receive the benefit of our homeowners that have made substantial cutbacks over the last year, including replacing their lawn with drought tolerant landscaping.

Will the City issue fines?
The City has a policy that starts with door hanger notifications and letters seeking voluntary compliance prior to seeking punitive measures, such as fines.

Can I fill my pool? 
If the City Council enacts Level 2 Water Conservation Measures than re-filling of more than one foot or initial filling with potable water is prohibited.

Water Conservation Rebates

The City participates in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s regional incentive program. This rebate program is available to all City residents and businesses, regardless of their local water purveyor.

Visit www.bewaterwise.com for a complete list of programs and incentives.

Newly Added – Turf removal rebates: Receive up to $3.00/sq. ft. on residential turf removal projects or $2.00 /sq.ft. on commercial turf removal projects. Click here for residential program overview, and use the “Estimate Your Turf Rebate” link to see how much you could qualify for.

Other rebate programs include:
Indoors: High efficiency toilets and clothes washers
Outdoors: Weather-based irrigation controllers, rotating sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels and soil moisture sensor systems

Visit www.bewaterwise.com for more programs and participation guidelines.

Conservation Measures

Courtesy bewaterwise.com

The City of Thousand Oaks asks you to conserve water usage inside and outside your home.

Southern Californians need to recognize that they live in an arid region and that growing demands for water require all water users to efficiently use this resource. Record dry weather can dramatically decrease runoff from the Sierra Nevada snowpack which is where our water originates. As well, environmental concerns in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta restrict the ability to transport water.

In 2009, a new Water Conservation Ordinance went into effect.

What are the basics of the City of Thousand Oaks permanent water conservation measures?

  • Watering is prohibited between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Watering duration is limited to no more than fifteen minutes per day per station
  • No excessive water flow or runoff is permitted
  • No washing down hard or paved surfaces
  • Leaks, breaks or malfunctions must be fixed within 7 days of receiving notice
  • Re-circulating water required for decorative water fountains and features
  • Washing vehicles, other than at commercial car wash facilities, must be done with a self-closing shut off nozzle on the hose
  • Drinking water in food establishments served only upon request
  • Lodging establishments must provide guests options to decline daily linen services
  • Single pass cooling systems may not be installed
  • Non-re-circulating commercial car wash and laundry systems are prohibited in new systems.
  • Restaurants are required to use water conserving dish wash spray valves

How is this Ordinance enforced?

The Ordinance is enforced through public outreach and education.

Excessive water use can be reported to the homeowner, HOA, or business owner.

A City Water Hotline is available to report any excessive water use. Call (805) 375-5747.

Greywater Systems
You can view a materials checklist/worksheet on how to make your own “Laundry to Landscape” greywater system by clicking here

Report City Landscaping Irrigation System Leaks and Breaks

See a leak or a missing sprinkler head?
Please report it by calling the water conservation hotline at (805) 375-5747 or email the information to PublicWorks@toaks.org.

We simply must reduce our water usage.
Here's how you save water:


  1. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Save 3 gallons a day.
  2. Shorten your showers by one or two minutes and save up to 5 gallons.
  3. Save 20 gallons a day for every leak you fix.
  4. Save between 15 and 50 gallons each time by only washing full loads of laundry.
  5. Talk to your family and friends about saving water. If everyone does a little, we all benefit a lot.


  1. Water your yard only before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. to reduce evaporation and interference from wind. Save up to 25 gallons a day
  2. Save 40 gallons a day by installing a smart sprinkler controller.
  3. Mulch! Save hundreds of gallons a year by using organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation.
  4. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. You'll save 150 gallons each time.
  5. Check your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray, and broken sprinkler heads, and save 500 gallons a month.

The Southern California Watering Index can help you figure out how much water your lawn and garden really need. Click here for more info.

How much water do you use?

Click on Water Use Calculator to calculate your daily water usage.

Are you considering re-using your laundry water for irrigation? Visit Graywater for information.

Track your water usage: If you're a City of Thousand Oaks water customer, click here to view your water consumption history for the past three years.

For additional information about Thousand Oaks water quality and how to read your water meter, click here.

For specific questions about the Ordinance or water conservation programs click here or contact the City of Thousand Oaks Public Works Department at (805) 449-2400.

Water Survey Program

As part of the City's effort to help customers save water, a program has been developed to provide free water conservation surveys for City of Thousand Oaks water customers. Please call the Municipal Service center at 805-449-2499 to make an appointment.

Waterwise Gardening

Native Plants vs. Drought Tolerant plants
While drought tolerant plants are good in a general water-saving way, when they're not native they typically don't benefit our native fauna (including pollinators like bees and butterflies) in any way. For example, while a succulent and cactus garden saves water, it provides very low habitat value in our Mediterranean environment. A garden planted with appropriate native plants would. Non-native drought tolerant plants are sometimes also good at escaping cultivation and colonizing open-space areas, particularly if planted in an interface area.

For waterwise and dry gardening practices visit these sites:

Ventura County Master Gardeners at work on the conservation garden
in front of the Goebel Senior Center

City of Thousand Oaks Water Conservation Garden

Following is a list of nurseries that carry drought tolerant plants:
  • Armstrong Garden Center, Thousand Oaks
  • Nordic Nursery, Newbury Park
  • Bamboo Pipeline, Camarillo
  • Baron Brothers, Camarillo
  • Nature's Best, Camarillo
  • Elegant Garden Nursery, Moorpark
  • Performance Nursery, Moorpark
  • Matilija Nursery, Moorpark (also sells native plants)

Other City Programs

Composting: Reduce your garden's watering needs and extend the life of our landfills in the process. Discount compost bins are available through the City Public Works Department. Visit our Home Composting page for more information.

FREE wood chips for pick-up in front of
Grant R. Brimhall Library

Free Mulch:The Public Works Department's Landscape Division provides free mulch on an ongoing basis to City residents. When available, chipped wood trimmings from City landscape projects are deposited in an enclosure located in the parking lot median between the Thousand Oaks Library and the Goebel Senior Center at 1385 East Janss Road. Bring your own shovels and bags and help yourself.

Public Water Conservation Gardens (interactive map)