The city of San Luis Obispo will implement new California Statewide water conservation rules as soon as June 10. The upcoming rules will include regulations limiting irrigation on residential properties between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and irrigation of non-functional turf will not be allowed for commercial, institutional or industrial properties, according to a city news release

The regulations will be put into effect for SLO residents once the City Council passes a resolution that authorizes new restrictions. 

The City Utilities Department plans to emphasize the importance of water conservation through education and outreach to spread awareness in the community.

“We do a number of radio ads, social media posts and we have a table at farmers market every week,” San Luis Obispo’s Water Resources Program Manager Nick Teague said. “We’ve really been just getting the word out about conservation in general.” 

The change in action follows Gov. Gavin Newson’s Executive Order N-7-22 on March 28. 

Executive Order N-7-22 outlines emergency conservation regulations affecting public water systems statewide and instructing State Water Agencies to consider adopting additional measures, according to the press release

The city of SLO declared a local drought emergency on July 13, 2021. Since then, the city’s Board of Supervisors have taken several precautionary steps to combat the water shortage from severely affecting the community such as the Water Shortage Contingency Plan adopted on June 15 of last year.

Following the statewide change, stage two of the contingency plan was implemented, meaning that the City will enact more programs to encourage voluntary water conservation, examine available alternative water sources, modify internal operations to focus on decreasing water loss, cease any short-term outside-city water sales and leases and implement time-of-use irrigation restrictions. 

The City’s old water conservation plan contains similar actions to the current plan.

According to Teague, the City’s 2020 urban water management plan and 2020 water shortage plan outlined the plan of action that would be taken when water levels reached a certain shortage level. The citywide water conservation rules will also remain in place.

The city of San Luis Obispo’s water supply levels are currently water-secure due to the city’s water-supply investments and water conservation.

“The community has done such a good job of conserving water that we’re not actually in a local water shortage emergency,” Teague said. 

Learn more about how the city of San Luis Obispo is addressing water conservation here.