City Outdoor Water Restrictions Begin May 1

With seasonal water restrictions going into effect in May, city water managers want to remind Santa Feans that they cannot water between 10am and 6pm, and recommend no more than three times a week.

Residents are allowed to water on the days of their choice. A good rule of thumb is once on the weekend, twice during the week and no more than three times total.

The Santa Fe area is entering into a fifth year of drought after some of the driest and hottest years on record.  In addition to limiting the time and number of days for outdoor watering, city water-use rules –Chapter 25 of the city municipal code – also address other water-wasting habits:

  • Outdoor swimming pools must be covered when not in use.
  • Vehicle washing at residences is limited to once per month, per vehicle, and must be done with a hose equipped with a “positive shut-off nozzle,” one that automatically shuts off when not in use.
  • Commercial car sale lots and other commercial and governmental entities with on-site vehicle washing facilities are limited to washing each vehicle one time per month except under certain circumstances.
  • Using a hose or power washer to clean sidewalks, driveways, patios or other hard surfaces with a hose or power washer.
  • Water from landscape irrigation cannot flow onto hard surfaces or neighboring properties.
  • Hand watering must be done with a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle and overhead watering is prohibited for trees and shrubs.
  • Turf grass sod or grass seed mixes cannot contain more than 25 percent Kentucky bluegrass.
  • A permit is required for all new irrigation system installations.

Those who violate the water-use rules can be fined up to $200.  Violations are applied to water bills. Those who want to report water waste can call 955-4222. To report watering at City Parks call 955-2100. Click here for tips on saving water outdoors. Below are some guidelines about water use:

Monthly Maximum OUTDOOR Water Use Guidelines:

Month Gallons
May 3,600
June 5,700
July 5,700
Aug 5,700
Sept 3,600


Monthly Maximum HOUSEHOLD Recommended Use:

Household Occupants Gallons
1 1,700
2 3,300
3 5,000
4 6,000
5 8,300
6 9,900