Water Conservation for Residents & Businesses

On June 10, 2022 the state of California published emergency water regulations that will remain in effect for one year in order to combat the intense ongoing drought. In accordance with this new regulation, Watsonville City Council adopted a resolution declaring a Stage Level 2 Water Supply Shortage, setting a goal to reduce water use by 20%. 

Watsonville depends on wells for 90 percent of our water

Resources & Incentives

The City of Watsonville generously supports water conservation by providing free resources and incentives for both businesses and residents alike who want to help us meet our water conservation goals while saving money at the same time.

Free Water Consultation (PDF)

Trained staff will visit your home or business to evaluate your landscape and indoor water use. They will make specific recommendations tailored to your needs while providing incentives and rebates for modifications.

Landscape Water Conservation Rebate:

The City of Watsonville offers a $1.00 per square foot rebate for customers to replace high-water-use lawns and areas irrigated by sprinklers with drought-tolerant, permeable landscaping and efficient irrigation equipment. Interested customers are eligible for a replacement rebate of up to $1000 for residents and $2,000 for multi-family, commercial, or institutional customers. Edible perennials and fruit trees may be included in landscape conversion projects.
Outdoor watering accounts for 50 percent of our daily water usage

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency

Offers rebates of $30 per rain barrel, $0.30 per gallon for rainwater harvesting, and $400 for laundry-to-landscape greywater irrigation. Complete this rebate form or call (831) 722-9292.

Free Toilet Replacement

for most toilets installed prior to 1992 or marked greater than 1.6 gallons per flush, the City of Watsonville will replace your old model free of charge.

Washing Machine Replacement Rebate

$100 rebate should you purchase a new Energy Star Certified Washing Machine to replace less efficient washing machine models.  Complete this form.

Plumbing Retrofit Water Conservation Certification Program

Visit our Plumbing Retrofit Water Conservation Certification Program page to learn about the requirements when selling/buying a home 

New Water Conservation Regulations

Businesses, schools, and all residents must follow the measures below to conserve water in accordance with the resolution signed by Council: 

Rules for Watering or Irrigating Landscapes

Landscape watering with overhead spray (sprinkler) irrigation is only allowed 15 minutes two times per week before 9am or after 5pm.

  • Except by bucket, hand-held hose with a shut-off nozzle, or drip irrigation.
  • Except for the watering of low-water-use plants and trees with drip irrigation

Prohibited the irrigation of non-functional turf (turf that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events)

  • No irrigation of landscaping on street medians and narrow strips in and alongside public streets
  • Hoses must have shut-off nozzles
  • Prohibited the use of broken or defective water systems (these must be repaired within 5 days)
  • Prohibited the use of potable water to fill decorative water features, except to sustain aquatic life

  • No at-home car washing, except by bucket

  • No washing of paved or hard surfaces with water, except for health and safety reasons

  • Prohibited the construction or installation and operation of new commercial car washes and commercial laundry systems that do not use water-recirculating technologies

  • Prohibited using water in a way that it runs off onto the street

Water-conserving Requirements for Hotels and Restaurants

  • Water-conserving dishwashing spray valves in all commercial kitchens
  • Hotels must offer guests the option to reuse sheets and towels

Non compliance with water regulations could result in fines of up to 500 dollars

Report Water Waste 

Residents can help by reporting water waste. Please send an email about water waste to waterwaste@cityofwatsonville.org. Please include the following information in order for us to respond to your report. 

  • Address of the water waste you observed
  • Time of day you observed the water being wasted
  • A brief description and a clear photo of how water was being wasted

Please consider letting your lawn go brown — or even better, replacing it with a drought-resistant landscape through our Landscape Rebate Program.