As part of its drought management and response plan, California Water Service moved into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan Dec. 14 in the Los Altos District. Stage 2 restrictions include additional outdoor watering limits and increased water waste penalties.

Cal Water filed its application to move into Stage 2 with the California Public Utilities Commission in October and held a public meeting in November to educate residents and businesses about new irrigation restrictions, water-waste penalties and programs to help reduce water use.

Outdoor landscape irrigation is now limited to two days per week as follows, between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m., unless local ordinances state otherwise.

• Addresses ending with an odd number: Tuesdays and Saturdays

• Addresses ending with an even number or with no street number: Wednesdays and Sundays

Additionally, penalties for violating the prohibited uses of water have doubled. Some of the common restrictions include:

• All leaks, breaks or other malfunctions in a customer’s plumbing fixtures and/or irrigation system must be repaired within five business days of written notification by Cal Water.

• Vehicles may only be washed with a hose that has a shutoff nozzle or similar device.

• Water may not be used on driveways or sidewalks, unless for health and safety purposes.

• No watering of outdoor landscapes may occur during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.

• Restaurants may only serve water upon request, and hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of not having towels and linens laundered daily.

“We have been preparing for these increasingly serious drought conditions, and Stage 2 of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan helps us conserve while continuing to support our customers and provide quality, service and value to them,” said Dawn Smithson, Los Altos District manager. “We offer Los Altos customers a variety of conservation programs and encourage them to take advantage of these resources to help save water every day.”

Cal Water’s conservation programs include:

• A lawn-to-garden rebate of $3 per square foot of lawn removed and replaced with low-water-use landscaping.

• A spray-to-drip rebate of 50 cents per square foot of landscaping converted from standard spray irrigation to a drip system.

For more information on conservation programs and for a full list of prohibited uses of water, visit