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Water Rules

Most of the City of Carlsbad is served by the Carlsbad Municipal Water District. Portions of south Carlsbad are either in the Olivenhain Municipal Water District or the Vallecitos Water District. Check this map to see which water district serves you.

The Carlsbad Municipal Water District is in the process of reducing its drought alert level, which is currently at a stage two “Drought Alert.” Even when the district is at stage one, certain water use restrictions 
Ordinance No. 45 and Ordinance No. 46) remain in effect. 


  • Set sprinklers to run no more than 10 minutes per station (Tip: split this time to 5 minutes in the morning and 5 in the evening to avoid run off).
  • Stop water waste from inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff, overspray and misdirected sprinklers.
  • Use a bucket or a hose with a shutoff nozzle when watering landscaped areas with no irrigation system.
  • Turn off irrigation during and 48 hours after rain.
  • Irrigate nursery and commercial grower’s products between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. only.
  • Watering is permitted any time with a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle, a bucket, or when a drip/micro-irrigation system/equipped is used. Irrigation of nursery propagation beds is permitted at any time. Watering of livestock is permitted at any time.


  • Don’t wash down hard surfaces, such as driveways, patios, sidewalks and parking lots with a hose, unless necessary for safety or sanitation.
  • If washing a vehicle at home, use a bucket and hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle.
  • Use recycled or non-drinking water for construction purposes.
  • Single pass-through cooling systems as part of new water service connections will be prohibited. Non-recirculating systems in all new conveyer car wash and commercial laundry systems are prohibited.


  • Stop operating decorative fountains unless they use recirculated water.


  • Repair all water leaks within 72 hours of notification from the water district.

Restaurants and Hotels  

  • Serve water in restaurants only on request.
  • Offer hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.

Please Note  

  • Watering schedule and time limits do not apply to irrigation systems using water efficient devices, such as weather-based controllers, drip/micro-irrigation systems and stream rotor sprinklers.
  • Watering is permitted at any time with a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle or a bucket/watering can.
  • Watering of livestock is permitted at any time.