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
If a flood were to hit Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta it would threaten much of California’s water supply. It’s why emergency management agencies are holding flood-fighting exercises during a drought.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the state can lead the way with its water policies just as California is leading the way with initiatives for renewable energy and climate change.
A winter forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday shows the California drought may persist or intensify in parts of the state.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday for not responding to a petition to protect 16 amphibian and reptile species in California