Water Conservation FAQs

Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

What conservation level are we currently under?

Level 1 

On April 25, 2023, City Council rescinded the Level 3 water restrictions and authorized to move back to Level 1 Water Conservation requirements; the City's permanent water conservation measures. 

What are the Level 1 water conservation requirements?
  • Outdoor irrigation is limited to 3 days per week (days are not specified).
  • Outdoor irrigation is limited to 10 minutes per day/per station. Drip irrigation systems (including subsurface) and water efficient devices such as rotator stream nozzles are permitted to operate for a longer period such that an equivalent volume of water is dispensed. In the absence of manufacturer specifications, rotator stream nozzles are permitted to run for (20) minutes and drip systems for up to (60) minutes provided that there is no water runoff.
  • Outdoor irrigation is prohibited between the hours of 8am to 6 pm.
  • No watering during and within 48 hours of rainfall measuring 0.25 inches or more.
  • No excessive water runoff or overspray.
  • No washing or hosing down of hard or paved surfaces.
  • Leaks must be fixed within seven days.

For more details and information you can read the April 25th City Council staff report here or read the current water conservation ordinance. 

Are there restrictions on washing my car, boat, or other vehicle?

Using potable water to wash or clean a vehicle, including but not limited to any automobile, truck, van, bus, motorcycle, boat, or trailer, whether motorized or not, is prohibited, except by use of a hand-held bucket or similar container or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive self-closing water shut-off nozzle or device. This subsection does not apply to any commercial car washing facility. Most commercial car washes recycle their water on-site and reuse it before draining it back into the sewer systems. This helps conserve water and protect local waterways by limiting the amount of soap and oil that flow untreated to storm drains to creeks and rivers.

Are there any restrictions on swimming pools?

No. However, we are encouraging residents to limit evaporation by using a pool cover when the pool is not in use. You should also fix any known leaks in the pool structure or plumbing.

Can I keep using my decorative pond?

Recirculating Water is required for decorative water fountains and running-water features.


Outside Irrigation

Can I water on any day? 

Under Level 1, you may water three days per week, no specified days.

Can I water at any time?

Watering is only allowed before 8:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.

Is there a time limit on watering?

Watering or irrigating landscape and vegetated areas with potable water using a spray system and/or bubblers, is limited to no more than ten (10) minutes of watering per day per station or irrigation zone. Drip irrigation systems (including subsurface) and water efficient devices such as rotator stream nozzles are permitted to operate for a longer period such that an equivalent volume of water is dispensed. In the absence of manufacturer specifications, rotator stream nozzles are permitted to run for up to twenty (20) minutes and drip systems for up to sixty (60) minutes provided that there is no water runoff.

I can water for 10 minutes per station; what does that mean? What is a station?

Larger landscaped areas are often divided up into multiple separate irrigation zones, or "stations", each controlled by its own valve. If operating the valves by hand they can all be opened at the same time to irrigate all areas simultaneously. However, when an irrigation controller is used, it will typically cycle through the stations one at a time. In this case, each station is allowed up to a maximum 10 minutes of watering per day. You can set your stations, so they water for a short period, such as three minutes and then do multiple passes as long as they do not exceed the maximum allowed of 10 minutes per station/per day. 

Can I plant a new lawn or lay down some new sod?

For long-term drought resiliency, the City encourages planting of California native plants as opposed to planting sod/turf. Most California native plants require little irrigation once established, provide habitat for pollinators, are low maintenance, and are perfectly suited to our local climate and soils. Native plants have evolved over thousands of years to survive in our hot dry summer climate. Make sure you select those that are specific to our region. Native plants differ from drought-tolerant plants in that they are adapted to survive without much irrigation in summer whereas drought-tolerant plants generally require some watering all year. Please refer to our landscaping page for resources. 

Who is responsible for maintaining the parkway in front of my property?

A property owner is responsible for the care of the parkway in front of their property, including watering any City trees. However, the property owner can eliminate the turf, plant drought-tolerant plants, convert to a mulch or rock feature or otherwise re-landscape at their discretion. It is preferable that the area remains permeable to allow for water infiltration into our groundwater. This will be an important source of water in the future. Occasionally, either City or utilities staff also need to dig down to access the utilities. When that occurs, artificial turf, cement or other impermeable materials make it difficult to access. Contact Public Works at (805) 449-2499 if you have questions about your city tree.

Is my HOA allowed to water the grass/turf areas they maintain around my complex?

Irrigation of non-functional grass on commercial, institutional, and industrial properties is prohibited. This includes HOA maintained landscape areas in condominium, townhome, and apartment complexes. Designation of turf as functional (actively used for recreational purposes) requires application and approval of a waiver by the water purveyor.

I live in the City of Thousand Oaks but am in the CalAm/CalWater/Camrosa service area. Whose rules do I follow?

The City’s Level 1water restrictions apply to everyone within the City regardless of your service provider. In cases where the restrictions of your service provider are not aligned with these, you will need to follow the more stringent (stricter) requirements.  

I live in an unincorporated area of the city, whose rules do I follow?

You must abide by the restrictions of your water service provider. If that service provider is the City then you should follow the same Level 1 water restrictions as the incorporated area.

Enforcement & Fines

I received a notice on my door (door hanger) saying I violated a water restriction.

The initial door hanger is a courtesy notice that you may have violated one or more of conservation measures and is meant to encourage you to investigate further and take appropriate action to correct the situation if there is a problem. 

Do you have “water police”?  Who reported me?

City staff may have witnessed a violation as they were conducting their normal duties or someone may have reported a violation. The city does not issue fines based on third-party reports of water waste.

What happens if I have another violation?

Through water conservation education and public outreach, enforcement will be focused on voluntary compliance, but fines of up to $500 per occurrence may be levied on repeat offenders. Before issuing a fine, staff would verify and document the violation. Our goal is to achieve voluntary compliance. However, we are in an extreme drought and must quickly reduce our water usage therefore, notices of violation need to be quickly addressed. If you need time to fix a problem, we recommend turning off your irrigation controller.

How do I report someone for violating one of the water conservation rules?

To report a leak or water waste call (805) 375‐5747 to report any type of concerns throughout the City. If we do not answer, please leave a descriptive message of the violation, the location, and your contact information in case we need more details.

Home Conservation

Are there any incentives or rebates available for water conservation activities?

Yes, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) offer rebates. Please visit bewaterwise.com for a list of available rebates and application forms. There are rebates for high-efficiency clothes washers, high-efficiency toilets, high-efficiency rotating nozzle sprinklers, turf (lawn) replacement, and more. Turf rebates are available from $3 per square foot. We recommend taking advantage of these rebates while they are still available. The City participates in the MWD program and does not have a separate rebate program.

Where can I go for more information?

For more information on water saving tips, rebates, events and workshops, visit our Save Water page. There are multiple links to other helpful websites and a calendar of events that features workshops and talks by experts on biochar, natural plant landscapes, greywater, and other water conservation-related topics.

Does the City provide any help?

You can get a FREE In‐Home Water Conservation Survey by calling (805) 375‐5747. California American Water and California Water Service also provide a similar service for their customers. The survey will help you identify landscape areas where you can conserve water and where you may be losing water. However, this is not a leak detection service which requires specialized equipment and expertise.

What is the contact information for my water agency?

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer