City of San Carlos - Water Conservation


Water Conservation

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Have you heard about Graywater or Collecting Rainwater to reuse for your outdoor landscaping? The City of San Carlos encourages its residents to consider these options. Click Graywater and Rainwater Harvesting to learn more.

Cal Water Drought Update and Regulations (3.25.16)

Drought Calendar - Updated May 13, 2016

April 1, 2015. Governor called for a mandatory 25% reduction in water use (based on 2013 consumption rates). Water agencies are leading the effort.
May 11, 2015. The California Water Service Company (Cal Water) outlined its water shortage contingency plan to the City Council (Schedule 14.1). The Council then repealed Ordinance 1479.

May 15, 2015. Community members who witness water waste or have questions about the drought can call the City's Hotline at (650) 802-4420 or contact Cal Water at (650) 558-7800. 

June 1, 2015. The contingency plan (Schedule 14.1) went into effect and we are currently in Stage 2. (Note: These stages are cumulative, so all restrictions in each lower stage apply.) Water customers will be notified directly by Cal Water regarding changes in restrictions.

November 15, 2015. The Governor extended the 25% urban water reduction through October 2016 unless the drought is averted by the end of January 2016.

May 9, 2016. The Governor declared a number of water conservation measures permanent. This includes prohibitions against the following actions: hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes; washing cars with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle; using non-recirculating water in a fountain or other decorative water feature; watering landscape that causes runoff or is within 48 hours of measureable precipitation; and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.  

San Carlos Water Use. Cal Water continues to report that the community of San Carlos is doing an outstanding job conserving water. Since June 2015, San Carlos has attained over 30% in water use reductions each month based on 2013 consumption rates. Congratulations to all who are doing their part to conserve!

Online Resources: 
Potential Water Reduction Measures 

Water Saving Measures:

1. Follow outdoor watering guidelines and restrictions (water customers in San Carlos are currently allowed to water two times a week). Water during your scheduled days before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Cal Water customers may view the Bayshore irrigation schedule here to determine their days.

2. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they are directed only on your lawn and garden and avoid wetting sidewalks and patios.

3. Use mulch or ground cover.

4. Choose drought tolerant and/or native plants whenever possible; go to for more information on native plants. San Carlos is in Climate Zones 9 and 10. Select Mediterranean climate and California native plants that are adapted to our climate of seasonal rainfall. Consider plants that offer food for wildlife and enhance local habitat. Also, avoid invasive species to prevent the further spread of exotic plants. Sunset Magazine also has a number of articles on drought-tolerant landscaping at

5. Consider replacing your lawn. Cal Water has a Turf Replacement Rebate Program available at The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) Lawn Be Gone! Program provides rebates to approved customers that convert water-thirsty lawns to water-efficient landscapes. Go to to learn more. Currently, Cal Water customers in San Carlos are eligible for these rebates as long as they are offered.

6. Rather than washing your car at home, consider taking it to a car wash that recycles the water.

Develop water-wise habits:

1.  Run only full loads in the dishwasher and use shorter wash cycles. Your machine uses the same amount of water whether it is full or almost empty.

2.  Wash only full loads in the washing machine, use cold-water settings and shorter cycles. One load of laundry typically uses 40-50 gallons of water.

3.  Fix leaky toilets. A running toilet can waste many gallons per minute; often a faulty flapper is the culprit. See
Cal Water rebates for water efficient toilets.

4.  Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Up to 2 gallons of water are used, if the tap is left on!

5.  Shorten your showers by two minutes.

Free water conservation kits are available for San Carlos residents from Cal Water.  To receive your kit, fill out the form on Cal Water’s website at Cal Water Conservation Kit.

Cal Water's Conservation Department 

Rebates for San Carlos residents:
Cal Water offers rebates on qualified water-efficient appliances through partnerships with the Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (

Important information from Cal Water:
Rebates are available until funds are depleted.
Please contact Cal Water/BAWSCA and the water conservation specialist at (408) 367-8369, if you have any questions about the programs described above.

Water Conservation Facts and Tips
Help save earth's precious resources while saving money on your water bill at the same time.

A variety of Web sites and literature that will help you investigate water conservation.

The Fire Department is doing all it can to conserve water in this time of drought. Click 
here to see what measures our firefighters are taking to help out. For more information about the Fire Department click here.

The City of San Carlos has participated in the National Mayor's Water Conservation Challenge during the months of April since 2014 and many San Carlans have pledged to reduce water use. If you've taken the pledge, thank you.