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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 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 currently at a stage one “drought alert” level, which means certain water use restrictions are in effect. 


  • Landscape irrigation is allowed on any day of the week (no more assigned days), however water officials recommend no more than three days a week.
  • Water only between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to reduce water lost to evaporation.
  • Keep all irrigation water on your property.  Runoff from irrigation is prohibited by the Carlsbad Municipal Code.
  • 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.
  • 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. 


  • 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 is necessary, divert wash water to landscaping, or capture water with a shop vacuum, to prevent water from running off to the street or storm drain.
  • If washing a vehicle at home, use a bucket and hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle.


  • Only use decorative fountains that use recirculated water.


  • Repair all water leaks within five days of notification from the water district.


  • Serve water in restaurants only on request.
  • Offer hotel guests the option of not laundering towels and linens daily.Use recycled or non-drinking water for construction purposes when available.
  • Non-recirculating systems in all new conveyer car wash and commercial laundry systems are prohibited. 

A complete list of water rules can be found in the following ordinances: