City Water Regulations

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City Water Conservation Ordinance

The City Council eliminated the Level One water restrictions at the May 30, 2017, City Council meeting, so we are currently under the Permanent Water Conservation requirements. Details on each conservation level are below.

Although the drought has been declared over, preparations for the next water shortage are underway and many changes in how California manages its' water are expected. By January 2021, each water agency will be given a draft water budget based on the population served and the irrigated landscape areas within their boundaries. In the future it will be the responsibility of the water agency to meet these budgets, and fines from the state for non-compliance are possible. Also, the agencies are required to develop water shortage contingency plans for six different conservation levels: 1. 10% reduction, 2. 20% reduction, 3. 30% reduction, 4. 40% reduction, 5. 50% reduction, and 6. More than a 50% reduction in water usage.

Highlights of the Permanent Water Conservation Measures

These measures are taken from the permanent water conservation measures, which were adopted by an ordinance in 2009 [PDF]. Separate from these measure, State law prohibits watering during or 48 hours after any rain.

  • Watering is prohibited between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 
  • No excessive water flow or runoff is permitted 
  • No washing down hard or paved surfaces
  • Re-circulating water is 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 will be served only upon request
  • Lodging establishments must provide guests options to decline daily linen services
  • Single-pass cooling systems may not be installed
  • Non-recirculating commercial car wash and laundry systems are prohibited in new systems
  • Restaurants are required to use water conserving dish wash spray valves

Level One City Water Conservation Measures

  • Outdoor watering restricted to 3 days a week (Apr.-Oct.) and two days a week (Nov.-Mar.), for no more than 15 minutes per station.*
  • Leaks, breaks, or malfunctions must be fixed within 72 hours.
  • The City requests that you do not empty your pool or spa for routine maintenance during a drought declaration.

Level Two City Water Conservation Measures

  • Outdoor watering restricted to 2 days a week (Apr.-Oct.) and 1 day a week (Nov.-Mar.), for no more than 15 minutes per station.*
  • Leaks, breaks or malfunctions must be fixed within 48 hours.
  • Filling or re-filling ornamental lakes or ponds with potable water is prohibited except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life provided that such animals are of significant value and have been actively managed within the water feature before a declaration of a supply shortage level.
  • Refilling of more than one foot or initial filling of residential swimming pools or outdoor spas with potable water is prohibited (This was waived during the most recent drought).

Level Three City Water Conservation Measures

  • No outside irrigation with potable water, except for the following:
    • Maintenance of trees and shrubs by hand-watering
    • Maintenance of existing landscaping necessary for fire protection, erosion control, or stormwater protection
    • Maintenance of plant materials identified to be rare or essential to the well-being of the protected species.
    • Maintenance of landscaping within active public parks and playing fields, day care centers, golf course greens and school grounds, provided that it does not exceed two days a week.
  • Leaks, breaks or malfunctions must be fixed within 24 hours.
  • Limits on new potable water service (see the ordinance for details).

*15-minute maximum irrigation per station does not apply to landscape irrigation systems that use highly efficient components such as low volume drip type irrigation, stream rotator sprinklers and/or soil moisture-based or weather-based controllers.

California American Water and California Water

California American Water and California Water customers may have additional requirements. Please refer to your water agencies website for details. 

California American Water

California Water Service

For questions regarding water conservation policies, please refer to our FAQs section, contact us at or call 805-449-2400.

To obtain an application for a hardship waiver regarding the City of Thousand Oaks Water Conservation Ordinance Requirements:

Please download a Hardship Waiver Application [PDF]. Please fill out and return to the Public Works Department at the City of Thousand Oaks.  Please note: This waiver is only applicable to City of Thousand Oaks water customers. If you are a customer of either California American Water or California Water Service, please contact them via the links above to obtain a Hardship Waiver Application.

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