Santa Cruz is not immune from the effects of the historic drought the state of California is experiencing. Local and state water restrictions have been implemented, but some of the local restrictions vary from the state restrictions. You might be wondering how these changes will affect you and your home, but the change won’t be as drastic as one might think so long as you know the dos and don’ts of the water restrictions both in the Santa Cruz area and California-wide.

California Water Restrictions:

The state of California has been in a massive drought for the last several years with many of its reservoirs’ and lakes’ water supplies becoming all but completely diminished. Residents have been thoroughly encouraged in the past several years to cut back on water use and refrain from using it wastefully. In the past year however, the California government has opted to enforce stricter water restrictions with penalties such as fines up to $500 a result of wasteful water use. Local areas with already adequate water restrictions have been permitted to continue to enforce their current methods of restriction and penalty, be sure to check with your water provider for exact details on restrictions. The California-wide restrictions include prohibiting watering of lawns more than twice per week and in between the hours of 9am and 6pm. The California water restrictions might affect your restaurant dining experience as well, as restaurants are not permitted to serve water unless it is explicitly requested by the customer.

Santa Cruz Water Restrictions:
Many of the water restrictions in the Santa Cruz area are the same as or similar to the restrictions in the rest of California. Using water for landscaping may only occur twice per week, however Santa Cruz residents may water before 10am and after 5pm and all water hoses must have a shut-off nozzle at all times. Buildings and paved areas may not be washed with water, but must be swept instead with exceptions made for homes that are coming up for sale and resealing of paved areas. For homes with swimming pools, draining of the water and refilling is not permitted this year. Perhaps one of the biggest rules in California’s water restrictions and those in Santa Cruz as well is the prohibition of watering outside lawns and potable plants during rain or within 48 hours afterward.

How to Beat the Drought:
While the state of California is coining the phrase “Golden state, golden lawn,” many residents are opting to go a different route for a beautiful lawn. Different means of landscaping such as using mulch and stone gardens with desert plants such as cactus and other succulents are becoming increasingly popular. Their low maintenance natures, need of little water, and natural beauty make them a favorite of dry areas. Some are also looking into a process called xeriscaping, which uses water resistant plants indigenous to the area to create lush and beautiful gardens.

Alexis Breitkreutz is an analyst for New Home Source.