Drip Irrigation

Water Conservation

Water is a precious and limited resource in California. Reducing your consumption of water through conservation measures helps to save this resource while reducing the energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas pollution to pump, treat, and distribute water in addition to pumping and treating wastewater.

Below are various resources to help you save water including Water Conservation Tools, Water Conservation Actions, and free Water Conservation Assistance, in addition to Water Conservation FAQs.


Water Conservation Actions


Irrigate only between midnight and 6:00 a.m. to reduce water loss evaporation


Reduce and replace turf with native and drought resistant plants


Cover pools and hot tubs to reduce evaporation


Check for leaks in your irrigation system weekly and households (e.g., faucets and toilets) at least monthly


Install a low flow shower head and ink faucet aerator


Upgrade to water efficient appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines

Water Conservation Technical and Financial Assistance

  • Cash rebates are available for the removal of turf that reduces the need for irrigation.
  • Water Sense is a labeling program designed to find water-efficient products, new homes, and programs that meet the US EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance.

Water Conservation FAQs

Water conservation resources are available through our Public Works department.  Thank you for you conservation efforts!

Yes, the city provides cash rebates for the removal of turf thereby reducing the need for irrigation and reduced energy consumption.

All of these water conservation devices are available free of charge at City Hall during normal business hours.

Everyone can do their part to use water wisely, but some people need a friendly reminder.

If you observe water waste or would like to alert the City of a concern, please contact the City of Sonoma Public Works Department.

To report water waste outside of the City of Sonoma water service area on the Marin-Sonoma water-saving partnership website.

While the Sonoma Municipal Code allows for various forms of enforcement, it is City staff’s intent to urge voluntary compliance rather than impose harsh penalties. Staff will initially enforce with reminders when violations are noticed in the normal course of City business. Direct mailed notices, media releases, and temporary signage will be provided to remind residents of the water restrictions in force.

Sonoma purchases 90 percent of our water from Sonoma Water and 10 percent is pumped from the city’s wells. For more information on Sonoma Water supply and water shortage reservoirs levels, please visit sonomawater.org

Car-washing can be done any day of the week but must be done with a hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle or a bucket. Hoses may not be left running.

Consider taking your car to a Water Smart Car Wash. Remember, many local car washes recycle their water on-site and use it many times before draining it back into the sewer systems. These procedures help conserve water and protect local waterways by limiting the amount of soap and oil that flow untreated down storm drains into creeks.

It is suggested that everyone reduce their irrigation as much as possible and water only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

No over-watering (excessive water running off properties and onto sidewalks or gutters, or ponding of water on properties) is allowed. Prevent watering within 48 hours of measurable rain (1/8”).

Turning off your irrigation, or significantly reducing your irrigation, is an easy way to have big water savings. If you are unable to stop irrigating your landscape, the following steps can help with reducing outdoor water use:

  • Thoroughly check your irrigation system to ensure there are no breaks, leaks, or water waste occurring when it is on or off.
  • Only run sprinkler or spray irrigation systems on Monday and Thursday nights between 8 pm and 6 am.
  • Schedule your drip irrigation to run between 8 pm and 6 am to reduce evaporation.
  • Reassess your irrigation program weekly. Turn off irrigation in cool weather or when it rains.
  • Use shorter run times to allow water to fully soak into the landscape and to reduce runoff.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture.
  • Hand water when needed instead of using an automatic irrigation system.
  • Reuse warm-up or rinse water from sinks and showers/tubs to hand-water plants that need it.

While the City of Sonoma is not currently in a drought emergency, the following nonessential uses of municipal water are prohibited:

  • The washing of sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, and other hard-surfaced areas by direct hosing, except as may be necessary to properly dispose of flammable or other dangerous liquids or substances, wash away spills that present a trip and fall hazard, or to prevent or eliminate materials dangerous to the public health and safety; provided, that the disposal of such is in conformance with Chapter 13.32 SMC, Stormwater Management and Discharge Control;
  • The escape of water through breaks or leaks within the customer’s plumbing or private distribution system for any substantial period within which such break or leak should reasonably have been discovered and corrected. It shall be presumed that a period of 72 hours after the customer discovers such a break or leak or receives notice from the city is a reasonable time to correct such break or leak or, at a minimum, to stop the flow of water from such break or leak;
  • Irrigation in a manner or to an extent that allows excessive runoff of water or unreasonable over-spray of the areas being watered. Every customer is deemed to have his/her water system under control at all times, to know the manner and extent of his/her water use and any runoff, and to employ available alternatives to apply irrigation water in a reasonably efficient manner;
  • Washing cars, boats, trailers, or other vehicles and machinery directly with a hose not equipped with a shutoff nozzle; and
  • Water for nonrecirculating conveyor car wash systems.

The following are exempt from restrictions:

  • Use of water supplied by a private well or from a reclaimed wastewater, grey water, or rainwater utilization system

In addition, water users are encouraged to take the following recommended actions:

  • Inspect all irrigation systems, repair leaks, and adjust spray heads to provide optimum coverage and eliminate avoidable over-spray.
  • For irrigation valves controlling water applied to lawns, vary the minutes of run time consistent with fluctuations in weather.
  • Reduce minutes of run-time for each irrigation cycle if water begins to run off to gutters and ditches before the irrigation cycle is completed.
  • Utilize water conservation rebates and other incentive programs to replace high water-use plumbing fixtures and appliances with water-efficient models.
  • Utilize City information on using water efficiently, reading water meters, repairing ordinary leaks, and applying water efficiently to landscaping.


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