PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

As the record-breaking drought continues in California, the State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency drought regulations on Tuesday for statewide mandatory conservation.

A series of conservation measures requiring residents and water agencies to reduce water use will be implemented on August 1.

In response to the state's drought contingency plan, the Desert Water Agency Board of Directors met Tuesday to discuss its plans to reduce local water usage. Additionally, the board directed staff to begin creating a conservation ordinance to employ mandatory water restrictions absent of the state's action, according to a DWA release.

"These record-breaking dry conditions are a stark reminder that conservation needs to be a way of life for all Californians. Conservation is always a priority for Desert Water Agency, and we support the State Water Board's decision to encourage further conservation across our state," said DWA Board President Craig Ewing. "We are taking immediate action to educate our customers and help them comply with the new water use regulations as well as working to create new law that ensures our water supplies are protected."

According to the DWA, the state's emergency regulations, in addition to water use restrictions for residents and businesses, require water agencies to implement their drought contingency plans.

DWA's drought contingency plan includes the following water use restrictions:

  • Washing hardscape (paved surfaces like streets and sidewalks) prohibited at any time
  • Running water for car washing prohibited (bucket allowed, nozzle allowed for rinsing only)
  • Commercial nurseries may only water between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • Parks, golf courses and schools may only irrigate landscapes between sunset and sunrise
  • Lawn watering and construction meter use prohibited between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Restaurants only provide water upon request

A public hearing will precede these regulations, which again, are likely to begin on August 1. 

Officials said DWA customers should expect to receive a postcard in the mail in the coming weeks detailing the new mandatory water use regulations.

The Desert Water Agency offers a variety of conservation programs as well, including free Smart Irrigation Controllers for customers, a new toilet rebate program and a $1 million turf buyback program that will launch on August 1.

For more information on any of these conservation programs, visit DWA's website.

The Desert Water Agency serves a 325 square-mile area, including parts of Cathedral City, outlying county areas, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs.