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
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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