Drought Updates

Drought Update

The City of Ontario is currently in Stage 3 of the Water Conservation Plan. The Ontario Municipal Utilities Company does ask that customers continue to use water efficiently as California is in a drought. 

The Metropolitan Water District recently issued a requirement that agencies receiving water from the State Water Project (imported water) would have to reduce irrigation to 1 day a week. The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) is the wholesale agency that provides imported water to the City of Ontario. IEUA member agencies are exempt from the 1 day per week irrigation requirement. 

Stage 3 Water Use Restrictions

The following includes Stage 3 Water Use Restrictions as well as some of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Water Use Restrictions that are also in effect: 

  • No person shall irrigate between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM and no person shall irrigate any more than 4 days a week. 
  • Except as required for health or sanitary purposes, washing of sidewalks, driveways or other paved surfaces is prohibited.
  • Washing of motor vehicles shall only be done with a hand-held bucket or a hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle. 
  • All water customers shall promptly repair all leaks from indoor or outdoor plumbing fixtures.
  • No water customer shall cause water to run off landscape areas into adjoining streets, sidewalks, or other paved areas. 
  • All customers are prohibited from irrigating during and within 48 hours following measurable rainfall. 
  • All persons are prohibited from irrigating with potable water any ornamental turf on public street medians. 

 

ACCORDION
Frequently Asked Questions

Which conservation level are we currently under?

Stage 3
At the July 19, 2022 City Council Meeting, the Ontario City Council approved staff recommendations on further restrictions including moving to Stage 3 of the Water Conservation Plan Restrictions. View the staff report and watch the meeting here.


What are the mandatory water use restrictions?

Stage 3 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 30%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 2 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 3 includes the following:

  • All restrictions included in Stage 1 and 2
  • Residents and Commercial/Industrial/Institutional customers are prohibited from irrigating any turf or landscape area more than four (4) days a week.
  • The use of water from fire hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting and related activities and other uses of water for municipal purposes shall be limited to activities necessary to maintain the public health, safety, and welfare. Unless written permission has been granted by the City Manager or his/her designee, the use of potable water for construction activities and grading shall be prohibited.


Are there any non-permitted days for watering turf and other plants?

Ontario residents are encouraged to apply water to their landscape no more than every other day. Watering should take place before 9 AM or after 4 PM.


Why is there a focus on irrigation?

Reducing all water use is important. Using water wisely indoors by using efficient showerheads, faucets, and appliances, taking shorter showers, and eliminating leaks are also important. However, up to 70% of our water is used for outside irrigation. 


Are there are any rebate programs available for removing turf and replacing it with drought-tolerant plants?

The Turf Replacement Rebate is currently a rebate available for removing turf and replacing with drought tolerant plants. You can find out more information about this program by visiting the programs and rebate section of the website.


Are there water conservation programs available to help OMUC customers conserve water?

Please visit the Programs and Rebates section of the website for more information on the various water conservation rebates and programs that are available. 


Am I allowed to wash my car?

Under the current water restrictions, you are encouraged to wash your vehicles with an automatic shut off nozzle on the hose. Taking your car to the carwash is a much more efficient use of water and reduces the amount of run-off produced.


Where can I report water waste?

If you spot water runoff or other water waste, you may report it through the online form. Please make sure to provide exact address and identify the water waste issue.


May people still water trees?

Yes, trees provide multiple benefits to the community and environment. Trees should be irrigated appropriately to meet their water needs. You can find more information and resources on watering trees by visiting the following websites:

California Urban Forests Council | Growing Trees Make Great Communities
Save Our Water and Our Trees | California ReLeaf
Save Our Water and Our Trees | Canopy
Save Our Water and Our Trees | Watering Mature Trees


Where does the City of Ontario get its water from?

Ontario’s water supply sources are comprised of imported surface water, groundwater, and recycled water. The City purchases locally treated State Water Project imported water directly from the Water Facilities Authority (WFA), which purchases it from the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA).  IEUA is the region's imported water wholesaler, supplied by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), and the local wastewater treatment agency.  A portion of Ontario's surface water is also supplied by the San Antonio Water Company (SAWCo).

Groundwater supplies are produced by City-owned groundwater wells and purchased from the Chino Basin Desalter Authority (CDA). The City purchases recycled water from IEUA for direct use in agricultural and residential/commercial irrigation as well as groundwater recharge.

The City of Ontario has invested significantly in local groundwater and recycled water infrastructure to become less dependent on imported water from MWD via IEUA.  Currently, the majority of Ontario's water demands are met by local groundwater and recycled water supplies. 

Water Conservation Stages

Voluntary Conservation Stage

Everyone is encouraged to voluntarily conserve water by reducing the amount of potable (drinking) water used through various water saving strategies. Voluntary Conservation includes the following:

  • Avoid hose washing of sidewalks, driveways, and other parking/paved surfaces.
  • Cars and other vehicles should be washed by hand, rinsed with a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle, at a commercial car wash, or with recycled water.
  • Avoid using water to clean, fill or maintain levels in decorative fountains or ponds unless it has a water recycling system.
  • Encourage restaurants to serve drinking water only to customers who request it.
  • Promptly repair leaks from indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures.
  • Avoid watering lawns, and the like, between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
  • Prevent water from running off from landscaped areas due to incorrectly directed or maintained sprinklers or excessive watering.


Stage 1

Stage 1 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 10%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by voluntary measures alone or by order of the State.
Stage 1 includes the following:

  • Except as required for health or sanitary purposes, washing of sidewalks, driveways or other paved surfaces is prohibited. Hose used shall have a positive shutoff nozzle.
  • Cars and other vehicles should only be washed by hand, using a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle for quick rinses, at a commercial car wash, or with recycled water.
  • No water should be used to clean, fill, or maintain decorative fountains or ponds unless it has a water recycling system.
  • No restaurants should serve drinking water to customers unless they request it.
  • All water customers shall promptly repair all leaks from indoor or outdoor plumbing fixtures in a timely manner.
  • No person shall irrigate between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
  • No water customer shall cause water to run off landscape areas into adjoining streets, sidewalks, or other paved areas.
  • Fire hydrants shall only be used for firefighting or construction purposes. The use of water from fire hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting and related activities necessary to maintain the public health, safety, and welfare. An exception may be made for construction use through a proper city-designated meter. The use of potable water for construction activities shall be restricted in areas where recycled water is available for such use.
  • Any additional reductions strategies as determined by City Council.



Stage 2

Stage 2 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 20%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 1 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 2 includes the following:

  • Everything in Stage 1.
  • No filling or refilling empty swimming pools unless there is written permission from the City Manager.
  • All customers are prohibited from irrigating during and within 48 hours following measurable rainfall.
  • Hotels and motels must provide guests the option of not having towels or linens laundered daily.
  • All persons are prohibited from irrigating with potable water any ornamental turf on public street medians.
  • The use of potable water for irrigation outside of newly constructed homes and buildings shall be consistent with the California Building Standards Commission and Department of Housing and Community Development.


Stage 3

Stage 3 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 30%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 2 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 3 includes the following:

  • Everything in Stage 2.
  • Residents and Commercial/Industrial/Institutional customers will be prohibited from irrigating any turf or landscape area more than four (4) days a week.
  • The use of water from fire hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting and related activities and other uses of water for municipal purposes shall be limited to activities necessary to maintain the public health, safety, and welfare. Unless written permission has been granted by the City Manager or his/her designee, the use of potable water for construction activities and grading shall be prohibited.


Stage 4

Stage 4 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 40%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 3 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 4 includes the following:

  • Everything in Stage 3.
  • Residents and Commercial/Industrial/Institutional customers will be prohibited from irrigating any turf or landscape area more than two (2) days a week.
  • No person shall irrigate any turf or landscaped area more than fifteen minutes (15) on watering days.
  • No vehicles shall be washed unless it is taken to a carwash.


Stage 5

Stage 5 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce usage up to 50%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 4 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 5 includes the following:

  • Everything in Stage 4.
  • Residents and Commercial/Industrial/Institutional customers will be prohibited from irrigating any turf or landscape area more than one (1) day a week.


Stage 6

Stage 6 refers to mandatory restrictions on the use of potable water to reduce more than 50%. This stage occurs when City Council determines that the City’s water conservation goals are not being met by Stage 5 alone or by order of the State.
Stage 6 includes the following:

  • Everything in Stage 5.
  • Unless otherwise permitted by a resolution of the City Council, there shall be no use of potable water for irrigation of outdoor landscape or turf.
  • Commercial nurseries shall be prohibited from the use of potable water for irrigation of outdoor, landscape and turf except by use of a hand- held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle.
  • The following nonessential uses of water shall be prohibited: the filling, cycling, filtering, or refilling swimming pools, spas, Jacuzzis, fountains, or other like devices.

Downloadable Files

Downloadable Files