FAQs for Stage Two Mandatory Water Conservation

Why did the City implement Stage Two Mandatory Water Restrictions?


The City of Houston implemented the Stage Two Mandatory Water Shortage Conservation plan due to lack of rain and decreased combined storage in our water reservoirs.


How does Stage Two Mandatory Water Restrictions affect Residents?


Residents are required to repair all detectable private side leaks on their property within 72 hours of discovery.
They are also required to limit outdoor irrigation to the hours before 10am or after 8pm on NO more than two days per week in conformity with the following schedule:


Watering schedule image.


Can I use water from a private well on my property on non-designated days?


Water wells are not regulated but the owner may be asked to provide proof that the water sourced is from the well and not the City's system.


How do water restrictions apply to gated homeowners associations which are all on a master meter?

Follow the schedule according to the individual address assigned to the water meter. The master water bill address should also be used to determine the schedule for watering of all common areas of the community.


Can I be fined if I water on the wrong day and time?

Prior to issuing any citations by which a citizen may be fined, the city will serve written notice so that violators are aware of violation and have the opportunity to comply.


What are the fines if I get caught watering on the wrong day?

Failure to follow these requirements may result in a fine of $150 to $2000 per day.


Who will be enforcing these restrictions?

Public Works and Engineering Department's Utility Customer Service staff will investigate and enforce private side leak violations. Public Works and Engineering Department's Planning and Development Service Division staff will investigate and enforce irrigation violations. Violations can be reported via 3-1-1.

Can landscape watering be performed with water from an irrigation truck?

While irrigation trucks are not directly covered by the ordinance, customers are encouraged to follow irrigation guidelines and to use water wisely.


Do the Water Restrictions apply to Commercial Businesses like car washes?

Commercial Businesses can use water to maintain their primary business practice such as car washes, nurseries, turf growers, water haulers and concrete pavers, etc.


How do residents on fixed income get water repairs done in order to comply?

There is not currently a program in place to offer this type of assistance.


Do water restrictions apply to Houston Extra Territorial Jurisdiction's?

Water restrictions apply to any who receives treated water from the city's system, including customers located in the ETJ.


Can I hand water plants and trees at anytime?

Residents can use a bucket, watering can and handheld hose with or without a nozzle at any time. The crucial distinction here is that the resident must be holding the hose

throughout the duration of watering. They are not allowed to turn the hose on, place it on the ground and walk away.


Can I use a soaker hoses for my foundation and flower beds at anytime?

Only on the days and hours assigned to your address.


Can I use a drip irrigation system at anytime?

Only on the days and hours assigned to your address.


Can I re-fill my pool or spa due to evaporation?

Residents can fill swimming pools for the first time and maintain the minimum level of water in swimming pools as required for maintaining filtering functions.


If I live along Lake Houston can I drop a pump in the water and irrigate my lawn?

It is unlawful to install unpermitted devices in Lake Houston and the Bayous.


Can I make my own repairs to a private side water main leak?

Yes, but you must obtain the proper permits and inspections. Leak adjustment are also available with the receipt for parts and proof of repair


Are recreational water activities for birthday parties such as inflatable water slides and fundraisers such as car washes allowed?

While these uses are no prohibited, customers are encouraged to use water wisely during this period of water shortage.


What additional restrictions will be implemented for a stage three water shortage?

In addition to the restrictions in place under a stage two water shortage, aesthetic water use will be considered unlawful. Aesthetic water use means use of water for ornamental, decorative, or scenic purposes such as fountains, reflecting pools and water gardens.


I am a developer. Can I get an occupancy permit without installing shrubs and landscaping?

Our Code Enforcement Division is now issuing temporary occupancy permits valid for 30 days. Please call (832) 394 9292 for more information.

How do I get a variance to the restrictions?

Applications for variances can be submitted to the Utility Official, Office of Director, Public Works and Engineering, 611 Walker 25th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002.

Applications should be submitted in accordance with the guidelines set out in Chapter 47, Article VII, Division 1, Sec. 47- 245 of the City of Houston Municipal Code of Ordinances.


Where can I go to find from information about the water restrictions?

A link to the Water Shortage Ordinance (Chapter 47) and additional water conservation information can be found at

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