Drought Information


Stage Two Water Shortage Alert    

On June 21, 2022 the Santa Barbara City Council declared a Stage Two Water Shortage Alert in response to Governor Newsom’s recently issued executive orders declaring a statewide drought emergency and mandating that urban water suppliers move to a higher level of drought response. With the conservation practices already adopted by residents and businesses, and the City’s investment in a diversified water supply, including the activation of City’s desalination plant, Santa Barbara’s water supply outlook is good, even if extremely dry conditions persist. However, in recognition of the severity of drought conditions statewide, Santa Barbara is taking the next step to encourage conservation. Given the statewide nature of the drought, we can all continue to make a difference by being as efficient as possible with our water use.

Current Water Use Regulations

  • Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle when in use, including washing vehicles and boats.
  • No hosing down sidewalks, buildings, or other hard surfaced areas with potable water. Exceptions are for preventative maintenance or for health and safety measures provided a pressure washer, bucket, or other tools are used to limit the amount of water used.
  • Irrigation is prohibited between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for in-ground automatic or manual irrigation systems. Hand watering is allowed at any time, but a shut-off nozzle must be used.
  • Statewide ban on potable irrigation of non-functional turf grass at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites. Non-functional turf is defined as turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events. State Board FAQs
  • Prohibition on water waste in place at all times: Any use that causes significant runoff beyond the boundaries of the property is prohibited. All leaks must be repaired within 72 hours after notice by the City. Irrigation during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall is prohibited. Measurable rainfall is defined as .25 inches or more during a 24 hour period.
Water Supply Drops_1980s to Today
pie graph of water sources from 2022

Drought FAQs

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