Conservation Programs                            Water-saving tips

Otay Water District Activates Level 2 Conservation Actions

In response to the extreme drought conditions impacting Southern California, the Otay Water District, in October 2021, declared a Shortage Level 1 Drought Alert under its Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). In June 2022, to comply with the State Water Resource Control Board’s Water Conservation Emergency Regulation, the District calls for customers to take Level 2 actions of its WSCP, reducing water use by up to 10 to 20%.

Under Level 2 measures, the following actions are prohibited:


  • Irrigating after 10 a.m. or before 6 p.m.
  • Irrigating more than 3 days a week.
  • Irrigation resulting in runoff or overspray.
  • Using a hose to irrigate landscaped areas unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle.
  • Watering landscape using sprinklers for more than 10 minutes per watering station per day.
  • Washing down paved surface areas, including but not limited to driveways, patios, and sidewalks (except when needed to alleviate health and safety concerns).
  • Irrigating turf on public medians.
  • Irrigating during a rainstorm and for 48 hours after one-fourth (1/4”) of an inch of rainfall.
  • Washing vehicles more than once per week and using a hose to wash vehicles without an automatic shutoff nozzle or bucket.
  • Using decorative water fountains or other decorative water features unless they use recycled or recirculated water.
  • Using potable water for construction purposes.
  • Using potable water to irrigate non-functional turf on commercial, industrial, and institutional properties (some exceptions may be made of 1) the user must certify that the turf species needs low levels of water  — a plant factor of 0.3 or less and 2) the user must demonstrate that the turf is irrigated in a way that uses low levels of water — less than 40% of reference evapotranspiration).

Local Drought Response:

Severe drought in other parts of the state can affect everyone. Consecutive seasons with limited rain and snowmelt force regional wholesale suppliers to draw down key reservoirs serving San Diego County. The region continues to monitor state direction for the potential need of extraordinary water conservation measures.

In line with the Metropolitan Water District’s and San Diego County Water Authority’s drought responses, the District’s measures are reinforced through local and regional conservation outreach and education programs. Customers can increase their water savings by taking full advantage of rebates, classes, and resources available through the District, the Water Authority, and the Metropolitan Water District. If the drought worsens, the water we save today could forestall stricter mandatory measures.

CA drought map

Click on the image to visit the U.S. Drought Monitor website.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I going to be fined if my usage is considered wasteful?

A key element of determining if water is being wasted is to observe if it is allowed to run off a property from a leak, a sprinkler system, a hose into the gutter or storm drain system, or even irrigation during a rainstorm. Otay’s goal is to work with its customers, inform them of the state mandates, and help as many customers as possible take advantage of water conservation resources and rebates.

What programs or resources can help me conserve?

How do I report water waste?

A key element of determining if water is being wasted is to observe if water is allowed to run off from either a leak, a sprinkler system or a hose into the gutter or storm drain system. Please notify Otay Water District, at 619-670-2222 or click here to report a water waste incident. The report will be investigated and an advisory notice will be sent to the site of the water waste incident.

Contact Conservation:

Tenille Otero, Communications Officer

Eileen Salmeron, Communications Assistant