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Watering SchedulE

The City of Sacramento has declared a "water alert" and is asking customers to reduce their water use by 20 percentFines for water waste are doubled under a water alert and car washing is limited to your watering days and must be done with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

Residents and business in Sacramento are required to follow a watering schedule and can water their landscapes with sprinklers based on a spring/summer or a fall/winter schedule.

View the full City of Sacramento watering ordinance.

Spring / Summer: March 1 to October 31

Customers with even-numbered addresses can water on Wednesday and Sunday. Customers with odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday and Saturday.

  • Watering is allowed before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
  • Wasting water is not allowed, including water running off properties and onto sidewalks or gutters, or ponding of water.
  • Watering is not allowed 48 hours after one-eighths inch of rain.
  • When there are two or more consecutive days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees, landscapes are exempt from watering schedule restrictions.


Watering is allowed one day per week, on Saturday or Sunday, at any time of day. No weekday watering is permitted. People are encouraged to turn off their sprinklers completely during the wet season. 

water saving tips

Watering multiple times for shorter periods

Schedule your irrigation system to water for shorter periods but more of them, which can waste less water and encourage roots to grow deeper. Use this tool to calculate how much time you should use your sprinklers for.

Do the “screwdriver test”

Stick a screwdriver into the ground. If you can push it more than three inches into the ground, you don’t need to water. Or use a moisture meter as shown below:

Wait for water to soak into soil

Wait at least 30 to 60 minutes to allow for the last irrigation cycle to soak into the soil.

Drip irrigation and hand watering can be done anytime

Using drip irrigation or watering with a hose and spray nozzle can be done any time because they waste less water. Potted plants and edible gardens can also be watered any day and any time.

Water any 1 or 2 days of the week with a smart controller, depending upon the season

Smart controllers measure the moisture content of your lawn.  If you have a Smart Controller, you're allowed to change your watering days (but not the number of days)  and can run any  before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m.. The City offers residents and businesses rebates of up to $400 for smart controllers.

Convert your lawn to drought-tolerant landscaping

Drought-tolerant landscapes use about a third of the water that lawns do. The City offers residents and businesses a rebate of $1.50 per square foot of grass replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping.

New landscapes can be watered anytime for the first 30 days

New landscaping can be watered any day and any time for 30 days after the installation to allow plants to become established.

Trees need more water than sprinklers provide

Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation placed two-thirds of the way between the tree trunk and the outside of tree’s canopy. Residents can use soaker hoses and drip irrigation any day and any time.

Request a watering variance

Email or call 916-808-5605 to request a variance from landscape watering requirements.

VIOLATIONS and fines

Fine for failing to comply with the City’s watering schedule ordinance are listed below.

 Violation  Fine (Stage 2 drought)
 First notice of violation  Written notice of violation, no fine is issued
 Second notice of violation (within 365 days)  $50 fine, which can be waived by participating in a  Water Conservation program
 Third notice of violation (within 365 days)
 $200 fine
 Fourth notice violation, and each subsequent notice of violation (within 365 days)    $1000 fine


If you see water being misused, watering on the wrong day or time, or over-watering, please report it by calling 311 or 916-264-5011, emailing your report to, going online to our 311 website, or by using the City’s free 311 app on your smartphone.

When reporting information to the City, please be sure to include:

  • Days and times the watering is occurring
  • Address of where the water misuse is taking place
  • Any pattern to the watering, like the frequency it is being watered or for how long the watering is taking place.