BEVERLY HILLS—The City of Beverly Hills City Council converged during a formal meeting on September 2 and voted to implement a citywide water conservation program, that asks for a mandatory 10 percent reduction in potable water use. The new restrictions are in connection to the severe state-wide drought and new regulations from the California State Water Board.

According to a press release from the City of BH, the Emergency Conservation Water Plan restrictions are set to go into effect on October 2 or when the City’s utility billing system is adjusted to accommodate the billing changes or whichever is later. Water customers will be alerted prior to the new policies.

According to the City Emergency Water Conservation Plan, the requirements are listed below:

  1. An Emergency Water Conservation Plan shall be declared when the City Manager determines that a 10 percent reduction in potable water use is required.
  1. Compliance elements shall include the following mandatory elements:
  • Restaurants shall serve water upon request only;
  • All public restrooms in the City and private bathrooms in hotels shall notify patrons and employees of water conservation goals;
  • Plumbing and irrigation leaks shall be repaired within seven days of notification to water customers. Water usage shall be reduced to 90 percent of the baseline year amount.

A water penalty surcharge will be added to basic water rates and customers will be charged for water usage that is in excess of the 90 percent of the baseline amount. Per the City Council’s direction ‘Tier 1’ customers who are characterized as low water users will be excused from restrictions and/or penalties.

  1. Violation by any person of the Stage B outdoor watering schedule shall constitute an infraction and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00). The violation of each element and each separate violation thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

Restrictions were already put into place by the Council to prohibit runoff from outdoor sprinklers and using a water hose to clear leaves and debris from driveways, sidewalks and streets. Also drinking water in non-circulating fountains is prohibited.

“Irrigation of residential landscaping accounts for 60% – 70% of the annual water usage in the City and is where the most savings can be achieved by making simple changes in watering practices,” states the release.

Residents have been asked to reduce landscape watering to only three days a week and adhere to fixed watering days. Residents living north of Santa Monica Boulevard are expected to water gardens on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Residents south of Santa Monica Boulevard should water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. To decrease evaporation, watering should be done between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on those days. Residents are expected not to do any watering on Sundays. The City could impose mandatory watering days at a later date if conservation goals are not met.

Fines could reach up to $500 for wasting water. City Council recently approved a 2 percent rate increase for the fiscal year 2014-15. Residents expect to see an additional $4.50 a month of their bill.

The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) is giving rebates for installing weather-based irrigation controllers, rotating sprinkler nozzles, soil moisture sensors and for replacing grass with drought-tolerant plants. Rebates are also offered when consumers purchase high-efficiency clothes washing machines and toilets.

To get additional information about rebates and how to monitor your water consumption, go to  To learn tips how to conserve water visit the MWD’s website at

Beverly Hills has an automated leak detection program and will continue to alert residents if a leak is identified on their property. Additional information on the water conservation program will be included in upcoming water bills, educational outreach and through the local media. More specifics for the implementation will be revealed at a future City Council meeting.