Mandatory Marin County Water Conservation In Effect

For the first time in 30 years, mandatory water conservation is going into effect in Marin County.  The North Marin Water District (which serves Novato) has enacted some mandatory measures which will remain in place until October 28, 2007.  Many of us recall the extreme water situation of 1976–1977, which required drastic measures in order to prevent Marin from going completely dry (we were within 120 days).

The North Marin Water District gets 80% of its water from the Sonoma County Water Agency and the remaining 20% from Novato’s Stafford Lake.  The Marin Municipal Water District (which supplies water to most of Marin County south of Novato) is monitoring its supply, but has no immediate plans to implement mandatory conservation efforts.  It gets 75% of its water from the several reservoirs in the Mt. Tamalpais watershed and the remaining 25% from the Russian River via the Sonoma agency. 

Prohibitions for those living in Novato include restrictions on water waste and non-essential uses:

  • Gutter flooding (i.e. irrigation overspray or irrigation run-off onto pavement);
  • Failure to repair a controllable water leak within a reasonable time (72 hours);
  • Using water for non-recycling decorative fountains;
  • Washing exterior paved areas (except public agencies may do so for public safety);
  • Refilling a swimming pool drained after July 1, 2007 or initial filling of a swimming pool for which a building permit was issued after July 1, 2007;
  • Washing privately-owned motor vehicles, trailers and boats except from a bucket and hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle;
  • Landscape watering outside the hours of 10:00 PM through 6:00 AM of the next day except that hand watering from a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle, or a container, or a drip system is allowed;
  • Use of water from a fire hydrant except for fighting fires, human consumption, essential construction needs or use in connection with animals;
  • Pools and hot tubs must be covered when not in use.

Violations will be dealt with as follows and will be discretionary:

  1. If the District becomes aware of a violation of the prohibitions listed above, a verbal warning will be given;
  2. If the violation continues or is repeated, a written notice will be given;
  3. If the violation continues or is repeated after a verbal and written notice, the District may disconnect service.
    • First disconnection shall result in a $50 fee for re-connection.
    • Second disconnection shall result in a $75 fee for re-connection
    • Third disconnection shall result in a $100 fee for re-connection and the District will install a flow restricting device on the service. 

All customer questions and comments regarding the Emergency Water Conservation ordinance should be referred to the Water Conservation Coordinator (415) 897-4133 ext. 8421. For a full copy of the Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance, please click the link below.

(Link: Actual PDF of ordinance)