My Bakersfield

Drought Information

The drought that spanned water years 2012 through 2016 included the driest four-year statewide precipitation on record (2012-2015) and the smallest Sierra-Cascades snowpack on record (2015, with 5 percent of average). It was marked by extraordinary heat: 2014, 2015 and 2016 were California’s first, second and third warmest year in terms of statewide average temperatures. As a result, the State and City of Bakersfield concurrently implemented water conservation regulations to reduce water usage and promote conservation.

Due to record snow and rainfall during the winter of 2016/2017, Governor Jerry Brown lifted the drought emergency for the State in August 2017, but retained the prohibitions on wasteful practices (i.e., irrigation water being applied onto sidewalks or paving, spraying down of hard surfaces, washing a car without a shut-off nozzle, etc.). In addition, the requirement for the City to meet a monthly water conservation target was rescinded. 

In light of this new direction from the State, the City Council rescinded the three day per week watering restriction and the prohibition of no outdoor watering on Mondays.

Outdoor Irrigation Regulations

The City's existing water use regulations generally require water users to follow all state-mandated water regulations, which: 

  • Prohibits the use potable water to wash sidewalks & driveways
  • Prohibits runoff when irrigating with potable water
  • Using hoses with no shutoff nozzles to wash cars
  • Using potable water in decorative water features that do not recirculate the water
  • Using outdoor irrigation during and 48 hours following measurable precipitation
  • Serving of drinking water other than upon request in eating 
  • The irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public streets
  • The irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Require operators of hotels and motels to provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.  The hotel or motel shall prominently display notice of this option in each guestroom using clear and easily understood language
Statewide Drought Information

For more information on the latest state-mandated water regulations, please visit the State Water Resources Control Board Drought Web Site.

Additional Information

If you have questions regarding local watering restrictions or would like more information on conservation-related programs and rebates within the City, you are encouraged to contact the City Water Resources Department at (661) 326-3715.