Level 3 Water Shortage and Mandatory Watering Schedule

On May 10th, 2022, at the request of the Ventura County Public Works Agency Water and Sanitation Department, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution declaring a Level 3 Water Shortage for all Ventura County Waterworks District areas (Moorpark, Somis, Lake Sherwood and Bell Canyon).  

This action comes after both the Metropolitan Water District and Calleguas Municipal Water District passed resolutions in April declaring a Water Shortage Emergency Condition for their service areas.  The resolutions also called on water purveyors to immediately cut their water use by implementing 1 day a week watering restriction or face financial penalties for failing to do so.   

As California struggles with its third year of drought and water supplies from the State Water Project remain limited, we are calling on our customers to implement the following mandatory watering schedule, effective June 1, 2022. 

Level 3 Water Shortage & Mandatory Watering Schedule Fact Sheet 

  • One-day-a-week watering schedule based on service area and home address. 
  • Only applies to non-functional, ornamental turf (lawns) and excludes turf located in parks, sports fields, and school playground fields. 
  • Hand-watering or efficient drip irrigation of trees, shrubs and/or plants is permitted as needed to support their health and ability to recover.  A minimum 30% water reduction is required for commercial landscape areas. 
  • No irrigation between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Irrigate no more than 15 minutes per zone (does not apply to low-flow drip irrigation). Adjust irrigation schedules to avoid irrigation runoff onto hardscape areas, such as sidewalks and streets.*
  • Use multiple, shorter irrigation cycles to eliminate runoff.
  • Does not apply to areas that are irrigated with recycled water. 
  • Applies to all customer classifications except agriculture. 
  • Special Water Features: Filling or re-filling ornamental lakes or ponds is prohibited, except to the extent needed to sustain aquatic life, provided that such animals are of significant value and have been actively managed within the water feature prior to the declaration of a supply shortage level. 
  • Residential Swimming Pools and Spas: Refilling of more than one foot and initial filling of residential swimming pools and spas is prohibited.   Those with an already approved building permit (as of 5/31/22) for a pool or spa are exempt from this prohibition. 
  • Noncompliance penalties will be applied (see below).   
  • Exceptions to conservation measures may be considered under unique circumstances and to address public health and safety needs. Please contact our office for more information.

*Effective September 1, 2022, irrigation will be limited to no more than 10 minutes per zone, per Metropolitan Water District Emergency Conservation Program requirement.

Noncompliance and Penalties 

For those who fail to comply with our current and permanent water conservation measures including but not limited to mandatory watering schedules. The following penalties may apply. 

  • First Violation: Written notice of the violation will be given to the customer 
  • Second Violation:  If prior violations are not corrected within the timeframe specified by the notice, or a second violation occurs within the following twelve (12) months after the date of issuance of the first violation, a second violation and a penalty of $100.00 may be imposed. 
  • Third Violation:  If prior violations are not corrected within the timeframe specified by the notice, or a third violation occurs within the following twelve (12) months after the date of issuance of the second violation, a third violation and a penalty of $250.00 may be imposed. 
  • Fourth Violation:  If prior violations are not corrected within the timeframe specified by the notice, or a fourth violation occurs within the following twelve (12) months after the date of issuance of the third violation, a third violation and a penalty of $500.00 may be imposed and a flow restricting device may be installed to limit usage. 
  • Water Shutoff and Reconnection: If violations are not resolved within the following twelve (12) months after the date of issuance of the fourth violation, the District may discontinue water service to the customer at the premises at which the violation(s) occurred. Where water service is disconnected, it will be reconnected upon correction of the condition or activity and the payment of the estimated reconnection charge and other applicable charges. 



On 5-24-22, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted an emergency water conservation regulation that prohibits irrigation of non-functional turf (lawns) at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites.   This regulation went into effect on June 10, 2022.  Failure to comply with this new regulation may result in penalties.

To learn more about this new regulation please click on the following links:

Emergency Regulation Press Release

Water Conservation Emergency Regulation Frequently Asked Questions

Approval of Emergency Regulatory Action


Every drop counts and as new conservation measures go into effect, we would like to remind you to sign up for the AMI Customer Portal if you have not done so already.  The AMI Customer Portal is an innovative and easy-to-use system that utilizes Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to allow customers to view their monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly water usage. This service is provided at no additional cost and can help reduce water usage and waste.  At a time when conserving water is important due to the ongoing drought conditions, this is a very helpful tool have at your disposal.  To register, please visit: https://www.vcpublicworks.org/wsd/customerportal/ 


To learn more about how you can help conserve water, please visit bewaterwise.com using the following link: https://www.bewaterwise.com/index.html

To learn more about SoCal WaterSmart and the many rebates available through this program, please visit their website using the following link: https://socalwatersmart.com/en/residential


Water is a precious resource in the State of California. As a result, water use efficiency is a priority for the State. We encourage our customers to use water wisely and follow these simple water conservation tips.

Indoor Conservation Tips

  • Fix leaks, including leaky toilets
  • Install water saving shower heads and ultra-low flush toilets
  • Take shorter showers, ideally 5 minutes
  • Monitor your water bill
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving
  • Use dishwashers and washing machines with full loads only

Outdoor Conservation Tips

  • Recycle indoor water to use on plants
  • Refrain from watering your landscape when it rains
  • Use a broom to clean driveways, patios, and sidewalks instead of water from a hose
  • Water your lawn or garden before 9 AM or after 4 PM
  • Use a pool cover to cut down on water evaporation


As of January 1, 2018, the Districts offer a Leak Adjustment Program for residential accounts as a courtesy for customers of Ventura County Waterworks District Nos. 1 (Moorpark), 17 (Bell Canyon), 19 (Somis) and 38 (Lake Sherwood).

This Program is available for customers who experience an indoor water leak or an outdoor irrigation leak. The Program does not include pool leaks or water used to refill a pool. Water leak adjustments are only available once every 12 months and for one cycle bill.

In order to qualify for a review of your application:

  • The water leak must have been repaired within 48 hours
  • The customer must note which bill the request is for (customer must wait until the bill is generated for the time period in question)
  • The leak must have occurred within the past three months to submitting the request
  • Water usage must have exceeded tier 1 water allotment
  • Please sign up for our AMI Customer Portal to be considered for an adjustment at: my-vcws.sensus-analytics.com

Please note that any current charges outstanding on the account are still due, and you are required to pay the bill in full to eliminate the possibility of water service interruption.

Review of your request can take from four to six weeks. Upon completion of the review, you will receive a letter regarding the status of your request. Adjustments that do not exceed $10 will be denied. Any adjustment made to your account will be reflected on the water bill issued thereafter. For leak references, review the Ventura County Waterworks Districts Nos. 1, 16, 17, 19 and 38 Rules and Regulations (R&R).