Water regulations

Water is a precious resource that is used every day. About 75 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, but only 1 percent can be used for drinking because most water found on the planet contains salt. The limited availability of water combined with population and economic growth requires good conservation practices to ensure adequate supplies are available for the future.

Drought update

On Feb. 8, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution extending the current drought regulations. The regulation will remain in effect for 270 days unless the State Water Board determines that it is no longer necessary due to changed conditions or the Board renews the regulation due to continued drought conditions. Given the wet weather this winter, the drought conditions are improving. As such, the resolution also includes language (1) directing the Executive Director to consider promptly modifying or repealing the regulation if the Governor lifts the declaration of a drought state of emergency, and (2) requiring the Board to meet in May 2017 to consider repealing the regulation based on hydrologic and supply conditions at the end of the rainy season if the regulation remains in effect on May 1st.
On May 18, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a regulation that requires locally developed conservation standards based upon each agency's specific circumstances. These standards require local water agencies to ensure a three-year supply assuming three more dry years like the ones the state experienced from 2012 to 2015. Water agencies that would face shortages under three additional dry years will be required to meet a conservation standard equal to the shortage amount. For example, if a water agency projects that it would have a 10 percent supply shortfall, their mandatory conservation standard would be 10 percent. In a June 2016 memorandum, our water supplier, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, estimated that the City’s Menlo Park Municipal Water District would not encounter any shortage under three additional dry years, however, they enacted a 10 percent voluntary conservation level.

Our customers have reduced water use 38 percent over 2013 levels, and we appreciate all that you are doing to conserve water.

Water use regulations currently in effect

On June 21, 2016, the City Council adopted a resolution implementing a 10 percent conservation goal with the following regulations: 
  • Hoses must be equipped with a shut-off valve for washing vehicles
  • Broken or defective plumbing and irrigation systems must be repaired or replaced within a reasonable period
  • Potable water shall not be applied in any manner to any driveway, sidewalk or other hard surface except when necessary to address immediate health or safety concerns and must use hoses with a shut-off valve
  • Potable water shall not be used to water outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff onto nonirrigated areas, walkways, roadways, parking lots or other hard surfaces
  • Potable water cannot be applied to outdoor landscapes during and up to 48 hours after measurable rainfall
  • Restaurants and other food service operations shall serve water to customers only upon request
  • Pools, spas and other recreational water features shall be covered when not in use
  • Ornamental fountains shall use only recirculated or recycled water

Please note that the two days per week irrigation schedule and watering between certain hours of the day are no longer in effect.

Water use regulation enforcement

The City will notify customers when there are violations of these water use regulations. This may be through use of a door hanger, email, phone call or letter. Violations are subject to fines and potential use of a flow restrictor on the water service.

There are four water providers within the City of Menlo Park. To determine your water provider, click on the
interactive map of water districts in Menlo Park below and enter in your address.
    Water Districts in Menlo Park