The mandatory reduction includes residents and businesses. Commercial water customers are required to reduce irrigation by 30 percent for landscaping. It also bans the washing of cars or boats without a nozzle, and prohibits the washing of outdoor surfaces unless necessary for health and safety.
Roseville says outdoor irrigation accounts for more than half of a typical home's water use, and says reducing that is the quickest way to reach the 20 percent goal.
The city gets most of its water from Folsom Lake, which is extremely low due to the drought. Earlier this year, the city turned on its groundwater wells in order to conserve water from the lake, but turned them off this month after more rain and snow fell in Northern California. The city of Sacramento has also implemented a mandatory 20 percent reduction.
While Roseville is calling the reduction "mandatory," water customers will not be hit with a surcharge or penalty if they do not meet that target.
Roseville, the largest city in Placer County, operates its own utility, which serves most of the 127,000 residents. Officials backtracked on a February proposal that would have used surcharges to compel reductions
Water conservationists criticized Roseville's approach, saying that without an enforcement or penalty structure, customers were unlikely to heed the call. But city leaders expect that education and outreach will translate into cutbacks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
California Communities Respond To Drought
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.
The United States Department of Agriculture says January is shaping up to be another dry month in the Lake Tahoe area and that signals an unprecedented fourth year of drought.