California Water Use

Making Water Conservation the California Way of Life

FAQs on the state’s unprecedented drought and water use restrictions and what Long Beach can expect


In California, droughts have always been a part of life, but we’re now facing the most severe water shortages in recent memory. The past three years are projected to be the driest on record. The normally wetter months of January through March didn’t deliver in 2022 — in fact they were the driest in the state’s history.

As a result, the state is facing unprecedented water shortages and we’re all being asked to do our part to conserve water.

In March 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order urging water agencies to conserve of up to 30 percent and asking all Californians to reduce their water use by 15 percent or more.

In May 2022, the State Water Resources Control Board, or SWRCB, adopted a regulation banning irrigation of “non-functional” turf (or grass) in industrial, institutional and commercial settings, such as decorative grass in a business complex that is purely aesthetic.

In April 2022, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, or MWD, the agency that supplies purchased water to much of Southern California, including Long Beach, adopted outdoor watering limits on portions of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties. The impacted agencies served by MWD are heavily reliant on the severely restricted State Water Project, which brings water from Northern California.

The new rule restricts outdoor watering in these areas to one day per week. In Long Beach, outdoor watering is currently allowed two days per week, but added conservation is greatly encouraged.

Long Beach is not directly impacted by MWD’s watering limits because we also have access to MWD’s less restricted water supplies imported from the Colorado River, along with our own local groundwater supplies.

Long Beach residents and businesses consistently do their part to use water efficiently, no matter the weather. Water use efficiency is, and has always been, our way of life in Long Beach. And now more than ever, it’s important to continue our water-wise lifestyle and focus on added conservation efforts.

Looking forward to the next decade, we are confident that our community will continue setting a great example of how to most wisely use our most precious and limited natural resource. Remember: small changes in our daily water use habits now add up to big water savings for our future.

Will individual residents and businesses be fined for not using water efficiently?

Our first approach is always education. Rather than fining or punishing the customer, we want to work together with them to find ways they can conserve or fix any issues, encouraging them to change their water use habits. This approach has been successful, as the vast majority of customers are eager to cooperate, and ultimately it helps us incentivize conservation in the long term.

In cases where enforcement is warranted, however, Long Beach Utilities has a fee structure in place for Prohibited Water Use Charges(PDF, 422KB) .

If you would like to report inefficient water use, click here or call 562.570.2455.

What are the water use rules in Long Beach?

The initial indoor target of 55 gallons per person per day is calculated across the Long Beach Utilities' service area every year. That goal does not include outdoor water use, which will have its own separate goal.

We all have a role to play in achieving the state’s water saving goals.

To anonymously report water waste call 562.570.2455

There are current water use restrictions in Long Beach that have been in place since 2016. The main water use restrictions for residents and businesses include:

  • Only water landscape during on Tuesdays and Saturdays, as we’re in a Stage 2 water shortage as of June 1, 2022
  • Only water landscape before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Only water landscape for 10 minutes per watering station per day, or 20 minutes if using water efficient rotating nozzles
  • Don’t water your landscape during measurable rainfall or anytime within 48 hours afterwards
  • Don’t water your landscape wastefully or produce unreasonable runoff
  • Don’t wash down hardscape (driveways, sidewalks) with a hose unless using a pressurized device
  • Quickly fix breaks, leaks or other device malfunctions so as not to waste water
  • Don’t wash a vehicle with a hose that does not have a water shutoff nozzle that prevents water from running continuously while washing
  • Cover pools and spas when not in use

For a full list of water use restrictions, click here.

How can I find out if I’m using water efficiently?

Long Beach Utilities customers now have access to state-of-the-art water use monitoring technology with our new smart meters. You can log on to the WaterSmart portal to track your water use, quickly find out if you have a leak and see how well you’re doing on your conservation goals.

Click here to learn more.

How can I increase my conservation efforts?

Looking for ways to join the water-wise lifestyle? Long Beach Utilities has many helpful programs, rebates and educational opportunities to help you.

Explore this site for additional homeowner, renter and business owner resources.