customer care

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May 27, 2022 14:20PM
May 27, 2022 14:20PM

customer care

Help California save water

No watering restrictions here, but IRWD can help you be even more efficient during the drought

This is the driest year to date in California, based on records going back 128 years. With a hot summer ahead, the governor has urged everyone to use less water – and some communities face restrictions on watering.

At Irvine Ranch Water District, we urge you to do your part. But we want you to know that your water supply here is in good shape. As always, we encourage you to save water and money by staying within your monthly water budget, but IRWD customers are NOT subject to restrictions on watering their yards. (Check out our suggested irrigation schedule to make sure you're not wasting water.)

And remember, most public areas in the IRWD service area will remain green, because they are irrigated with drought-proof recycled water.

Water reliability is precariously uncertain in other regions of the state, and we should all pitch in to help. Look below for tips, or visit RightScape.com for more information.



Our yards can be the biggest source of water waste in Southern California. Click on the links below for ideas on simple but significant ways you can save water.
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Beautify your yard with water-wise plants  

Create a personalized palette of plants

Do a landscape checkup

Read The Dirt

Watch The Shed Show

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Check out our helpful tips for landscape design

Plan a sustainable garden

Let our garden gallery inspire you


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Types of systems

Money-saving rebates

Watering guide

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Planting tips:

Planting workshops

Healthy soil

Benefits of mulch



Simple changes in habit can lead to substantial water savings.


√  Use a weather-based timer for irrigation  

√  Water only 2x a week in summer  

√  Sweep your walkways & driveway  

√  Adjust sprinklers to avoid overspray          

√  Turn off water while brushing teeth

√  Check for indoor & outdoor leaks

√  Register for our WaterInsight Program


  X  Do not overwater your landscape*

  X  Do not wash off hardscapes with the hose*

  Do not use a hose without a shutoff nozzle*

  Do not run sprinklers when it's raining*

  Do not ignore signs of a potential leak

  X  Do not let water run while washing dishes

   *Restrictions that are now mandated in California




Take the guesswork out of saving water with the IRWD WaterInsight Program. Register for free at IRWD.waterinsight.com and receive water savings recommendations specific to your household. Benefits include:

  • See how your water use compares to households like yours
  • Discover where and when you're using the most water
  • Be alerted to potentially costly leaks
  • Find related rebates available to you
  • Get clear steps to complete a water-saving action

Help claim your spot among the most water efficient homes in the IRWD service area! Sign up at IRWD.waterinsight.com today.



What are the state's water restrictions?+

The State Water Board has adopted an emergency regulation requiring the following statewide drinking (potable) water use restrictions: 

  • Turn off decorative water fountains
  • Turn off/pause your irrigation system when it's raining and for two days after rain
  • Use an automatic shutoff nozzle on your waterhose
  • Use a broom or leaf blower, not water, to clean hard or paved surfaces
  • Give trees just what they need: avoid overwatering
  • Do not use single-pass cooling equipment

How will IRWD meet state requirements to reduce water use?+

A key component of IRWD’s water efficiency efforts is the use of a Budget-Based Rate Structure. Customers receive a monthly water budget that provides for a reasonable amount of water for indoor and outdoor use. Customers are billed based on actual amount of water used. Water usage of up to 100% of the water budget is billed at the two lower tiers. If a customer goes over their monthly water budget, the water is billed at increasingly higher tiers based on IRWD’s actual cost to provide water service. To learn more about budget based rates, please visit our Residential Water Rates web page. 

In addition, IRWD is stretching our water supplies by expanding the use of recycled water throughout the service area to reduce demands on drinking water use. To learn more about the extensive use of recycled water please visit Residential Water Rates web page. 

The IRWD RightScape program offers free classes and programs as well as money saving rebates to assist customers in efficient water use, including the installation of drought tolerant landscaping.

Can my HOA prohibit me from letting my lawn go brown or replacing turf?+

No. IRWD's Level Two Water Shortage Plan prohibits homeowners associations from fining or assessing owners for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns.

In addition, State regulations state that common interest associations shall not fine or assess owners of separate interests for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns, unless the association uses only recycled water for irrigation of the association’s common areas and recycled water is also available at the irrigated area of the separate interest.

NOTE: Please notify your HOA before beginning any kind of turf removal project.

Visit our HOA Q&A page to get more answers to your HOA questions. 

Will IRWD be issuing fines?+

No. IRWD uses the budget based rate structure that sends a price signal to discourage water wasters. Customers that exceed their monthly water budget will pay significantly more for their water use. The price increases are assessed through the rate structure tiers and are based on the actual cost of water and the amount of water used during the month.

Does IRWD have restrictions on outdoor watering days?+

No. IRWD uses a budget based rate structure to limit outdoor watering. Rather than specifying which days a customer can water their yard, IRWD assigns each customer a monthly water budget that is tied to cost for IRWD to provide water service. This approach complies with the state emergency drought regulations and promotes long term behavior changes by sending a strong price signal that something is wrong, maybe a water leak or broken sprinkler timer. Customers are able to fix these problems and understand how they cause water over use.

Why are new homes still being built during a drought?+

Cities and counties plan and approve land uses within their boundaries through their general plans. They set long-range development policies, prepare environmental documents, and approve individual projects. Water retailers, such as IRWD, provide water supply assessments for land-use agencies' decision making process. The responsibility for final approval of development projects rests solely with cities and counties.



Check out the graphic below to get an idea of your potential savings -- and the potential for waste when these opportunities are ignored. Looking for more ideas? Check out IRWD’s water efficiency workshops and DIY videos. We also offer several indoor water-saving rebates to help.

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