Drought Regulations

In California, droughts are part of life, and so is using water wisely. Helix Water District and the other water utilities serving the San Diego region have worked together for decades to plan for water shortages. We encourage conservation and investment in new water resources. These steps help protect us against drought.

Level 2 - Current Conservation Level

In response to drought conditions, the State Water Resources Control Board directed all water utilities in California to implement their Level 2 water conservation measures.

Helix’s Level 2 water conservation measures are listed below. We are pleased to report that most of our customers already use these measures in their landscapes.

Since the 1990s, Helix customers have reduced their water use by almost half through their commitment to using water efficiently. We appreciate your efforts and encourage everyone to keep up the good work.

In fact, over the last 30 years, Helix and the other water utilities in the San Diego region invested $3 billion in water conservation and new water supplies. We have the water we need, even in dry years like this one, for decades to come. However, we can all do our part to help.

The state also banned watering of decorative (non-functional) lawns at commercial, industrial, and institutional properties, including homeowner association common areas. This does not apply to residential lawns, sports fields, school fields, or areas regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events.

The state may require mandatory conservation if drought conditions worsen. Check out Save Water and Money for tips, rebates, and more to help you save water.

Helix Water Shortage Response Levels

Helix's Board of Directors has adopted a Water Shortage Response Plan. We have six water shortage levels, with increasing restrictions, that we can enact during times of drought or decreasing water supplies - when we need extra conservation efforts. (Policies and Procedures (PDF) Section 4.9).

LevelConservation TargetWater Use Limits
NormalZero WastePermanent
1Up to 10%Voluntary
2Up to 20%Mandatory
3Up to 30%Mandatory
4Up to 40%Mandatory
5Up to 50%Mandatory
6Above 50%Mandatory

  1. Permanent Water Efficiency Measures

Helix has permanent water use efficiency measures that are always in effect. These measures are best practices to make sure we're all water-wise, and they are things that most of our customers already do.

Irrigation (all customers)

  • Eliminate runoff from irrigation onto hardscape, streets, structures or adjacent properties. Water waste caused by overspray from sprinklers or low-head drainage is prohibited.
  • Do not water for at least 48 hours after rain.
  • Do not water turf on public street medians.

Other Outdoor Use (all customers)

  • Do not wash down paved surfaces, including but not limited to sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts or patios, unless required for public safety or sanitation.
  • Use recirculated water in ornamental fountains and water features.
  • Wash vehicles using a hose with a positive shutoff nozzle and a bucket, and avoid washing vehicles during hot conditions when additional water is required.

Commercial Water Use

  • Restaurants and other food service establishments may serve water upon request only.
  • Hotels, motels, and other commercial lodging establishments must offer guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.
  1. Level 1
  1. Level 2
  1. Level 3
  1. Level 4
  1. Level 5
  1. Level 6