Graphics Version

Homepage > City Gov > Environmental Utilities > Drought



Folsom Reservoir - January 2014

[Updated April 6, 2015] -  The 20 percent water reduction announced last March is still effective. 

The restrictions include:

A Citywide 20% reduction in water use, including:
       -  20% reduction in residential water use
       -  10% reduction in non residential water use
       -  30% reduction in non residential irrigation water use, except for actively programmed sports fields

In addition:
- No watering of hardscapes (sidewalks, driveways) unless for health or sanitary purposes.
- No irrigation of landscaping during rainfall.
- Water only served upon request at restaurants.
- Only wash boats/cars with hose nozzle or at a commercial carwash.
- Water shall be confined to a user's property and shall not be allowed to run off.
- Free flowing hoses are prohibited.
- Leaking pipes or faulty sprinklers shall be repaired within 5 calendar days or less, depending on the severity of the issue.
- All pools, spas, and ornamental fountains/ponds shall be equipped with a recirculation pump and shall be leak proof.

For questions about your utility bill, call 916-774-5300.

The U.S Drought Monitor developed by the USDA has increased all of Inland California from an Extreme Drought stage to an Exceptional Drought stage. The category degradation for Northern California is not due to any single condition change, but more an acknowledgement of the continual accumulation of smaller drought related impacts.  We hope to get above normal snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains and sufficient rainfall this winter to help mitigate our current drought conditions but projections are not supporting our needs.  For current conditions click here.


Temporary rate adjustment needed due to drought

Due to increasing costs of securing our water supply and decreasing revenues due to lower water use, the City of Roseville is implementing a temporary 15% rate adjustment in the form of a drought surcharge to be included on water billings as of June 15, 2014. This adjustment will be applied only to customer's water usage. The cost to the average residential water customer will be about $2.

This increase is needed to keep our community-owed water utility financially stable through this unprecedented drought. With almost three months of declining revenue and increased costs, the water utilities financial reserves are no longer able to cover this deficit. Costs are increasing for many reasons - water is scarcer and more expensive. The drought has also required us to expand our water conservation programs, invest in operation of our back-up groundwater wells, and build new wells as water from Folsom Lake has become much less reliable due to an unprecedented drought.

The City of Roseville announced mandatory 20% water-use reductions on March 24, 2014 due to drought conditions.

Notice mailed to all Roseville water customers on June 2, 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions on the drought

Why is Folsom Reservoir so low?

California is in a drought due to two years of persistently dry weather conditions.  As a result most of California’s reservoirs are lower than they have been in decades.  To view current lake levels click here.

Why is water being let out of Folsom Reservoir?

Folsom Reservoir is a multi-use facility that not only serves drinking water, but also acts as a flood protection facility, a cold water source for endangered fish in the Lower American River and used as a responder for water quality needs in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

Because of the combination of historic dry conditions causing a dramatic reduction in precipitation/snow pack, coupled with legally required releases for water quality and fish species, the lake is extremely low.

To help keep more water in the reservoir for water supply, the cities of Folsom and Roseville; and the San Juan Water District petitioned the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to reduce the amount of water being released to slow the dropping lake level.   The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation proceeded to lower water releases the week of January 6 and is now attempting to manage threatened and endangered species and balance water supply needs given the conditions.   As a result, the American River remains at very low levels.

Why is the City still watering parks, golf courses and medians?

In west Roseville, many of these areas use recycled water. It is non-potable water used specifically for irrigation and comes highly treated from our city’s wastewater treatment plants.  This water does not come from Folsom Reservoir nor from our potable groundwater wells.  Recycled water use helps to save potable drinking water for use by humans, rather than for landscapes.  However, if you see excess water usage, run-off or suspect water waste at city facilities, please call 774-5761 and we will investigate immediately. 

Why are fountains still on in Roseville? 

We are working with private property owners with water features to educate them on ways to reduce their water use, including turning off fountains.  However, turning off fountains is only required if the city institutes mandatory water reductions (Drought Stage 3 or higher).  The city is currently in a Drought Stage 2.

What can I do to save 20 percent?

To help with the 20 percent water use reduction, we suggest these water efficiency tips:

1. Residents and businesses should monitor water use on their utility bill. An easy way to do this is to sign up for the city’s Water Insight online program at

2. Reduce irrigation – shut off outdoor irrigation and only water if landscape becomes stressed.

3. Sign up for a Water Wise House Call or Water Wise Business Call by calling 774-5761 or online at   We can assist customers in identifying leaks, setting irrigation timers and generally helping them make their home or business more water efficient.

4. Report water waste at or call 774-5761.

5. Go to for more tips.

How do you measure a 20 percent reduction against my water use?

The percentage reduction is a system wide goal and as a result we need all of the city’s residential and business water customers to do their part to conserve on their water use as much as possible.  For residential water customers, the easiest way to determine your current water use and to get useful tips to help reduce your water use, we highly encourage you to sign up or the city’s Water Insight online program at There is no additional cost to our residential water customers to use this service.

Why didn't the city start encouraging people sooner to save water?

The City of Roseville, like other water providers, is always promoting water conservation, regardless of the weather patterns.  Throughout each year, we offer programs and rebates to encourage conservation to help us comply with state and federal mandates on water use.  The city wanted a clear picture of the weather forecast, precipitation and snow pack results, as well as our water allocation from Folsom Reservoir before declaring a mandatory drought stage. With this data in hand, the city made the determination to activate the drought stage currently in effect.

Can I replumb my home to capture graywater from my sinks and shower?  What is the process?

- You can capture the clean, non-soapy, water from showers/bathtubs.  While your bath or shower water heats up, it can be captured in a bucket and used where clean water is otherwise used.  The city does not need to be contacted for this type of use.

- You can also capture the graywater (soapy water) from showers/bathtubs for use in outdoor landscape.  The city does not need to be contacted for this type of use.

- We do need to be contacted for any proposed modification to a structure’s plumbing where the intent is to capture and direct graywater like from washing machines and tubs/showers.  Those interested in exploring graywater systems or modifications to use graywater should call the city’s Building Division at (916) 774-5332 before any work is started.

Please keep all graywater runoff on your property and allow it to soak into porous areas.  Do not let it drain into the stormwater system, gutters, drains and our creeks.

Can I purchase recycled water from the City Roseville to irrigate my home landscape?  Can I purchase recycled water for my construction project?

Due to restrictions on its use, the City is not able to provide recycled water to individual homeowners for landscape irrigation. It is expected that commercial services, trained and working under a city issued permit, will develop and could be utilized to deliver recycled water for your home’s landscape.

The City of Roseville is making arrangements to provide recycled water to contractors who need water for dust control or soil conditioning through filling stations at designated points in areas where recycled water is available. A permit and City-supplied meter will be necessary to use these stations.

Will a water recirculation system help reduce wasted water when I am trying to heat up my shower or bath?

If you do not capture the water wasted when waiting for hot water in your bathroom or kitchen, an instant hot water recirculating system may be a solution to minimize the waste. These recirculating systems reduce the wait time for hot water to arrive at the fixture located furthest (found typically in the master bathroom or kitchen) from the homes central water heater. There are several types of recirculating systems but the most efficient are those that are demand controlled by a sensor, button, or timing system that initiates hot water movement only when you need it.

What do I do if I see water waste?

Report water waste at or call 774-5761.

How do we determine when irrigation will occur at parks and medians?

The City of Roseville and its contract partners use a variety of techniques to ensure the efficient and effective use of our water resources.  The park and streetscape irrigation systems are turned on only after reviewing the past 5 days of weather, the weather forecast for the next 5-10 days, manually checking the soil moisture, manually checking plant tissue moisture, and by the visual appearance of stress to the plant.  The proper amount of water required to sustain plant life is then determined and that specific program is implemented.  After each irrigation cycle we inspect all areas for potential problems that may have developed over the irrigation cycle and make repairs to damaged or malfunctioning components immediately.  Currently we are watering parks and streetscapes an average of every 10 – 14 days.

Why do I see irrigation running in our parks and on our streetscapes during the day if we are in a drought?

The city and our contract partners perform daytime irrigation system checks throughout the city.  These checks allow us to identify problems and make necessary repairs before an irrigation cycle occurs and valuable water is wasted.  These checks are very quick and use very little water.  Each irrigation valve is generally operated for less than 1 to 2 minutes; just long enough to visually see that everything is operating properly and to identify any non-functioning components.

Water efficiency resources

Does Your Pool Have a Leak?


March 2015 Water Savings

Quick ways to save water now!

Water efficiency tips:

Water Wise House Call:

To report water waste:

Graywater Information: 

Additional drought resources

Roseville Municipal Code – Drought Stages

Questions on utility billing: 916-774-5300


Homepage | Residents | Business | Visiting | Departments | e-Services | Apply | Find | Report | Sign Up
City of Roseville 311 Vernon St., Roseville, CA 95678. Phone: 916-774-5200.
Powered by Civica Software