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New Statewide Water Restrictions for Restaurants

June 1, 2015

With California experiencing its fourth year of a severe drought, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has adopted and extended a set of emergency water conservation regulations. Under the actions adopted on March 17 by the State Water Board, restaurants will be penalized for serving water to patrons unless it has been specifically requested.

The Office of Administrative Law has 10 days to approve or deny the new regulations adopted by the State Water Board. If approved, the regulations will go into effect immediately and remain in effect for 270 days. We can reasonably anticipate that the emergency regulations will be approved.

Failure to comply with the emergency regulations is an infraction, which carries a fine of up to $500 for each day in which the violation occurs.

New prohibitions affecting commercial businesses:

  • Restaurants and other foodservice establishments can only serve water to customers on request, and
  • Operators of hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and prominently display notice of this option.


All Californians are prohibited from:

  • Washing down sidewalks and driveways;
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff;
  • Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle;
  • Operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system; and
  • Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation.
  • Post by: California Restaurant Association

    CLICK HERE for more information from The City of Newport Beach.

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