Department of Public Utilities

Water Conservation Program

Water Conservation Program

The City of Fresno is committed to water conservation and the protection of our water supply.  Water conservation restrictions and enforcement procedures are in place to ensure our community is in compliance with statewide conservation regulations and to protect this precious resource, ensuring its availability for generations to come.

EyeOnWater Icon

EyeOnWater

Exemption Requests Icon

Exemption Requests

Water Schedule Icon

Outdoor Water Use Schedule

Water Rebates Icon

Water Rebates

WaterWeb Customer Portal Icon

WaterWeb Customer Portal

Violation Appeal Form Icon

Water Conservation Appeal

Water Conservation Frequently Asked Questions
A list of the Water Conservation Program’s most frequently asked questions is included below.  Customers who have additional questions may contact the City of Fresno’s 311 Center by dialing 3-1-1 within City limits or by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489).

Water Conservation Incidents

What if I don’t know how much water I’m using?

The City of Fresno offers the EyeOnWater tool, which is a web-based customer portal that enables utility customers to view and understand their water usage profile through easy-to-understand consumption graphics and provides a simple method to establish alerts to better manage their water use.

Visit http://fresno.eyeonwater.com/signup or download the EyeOnWater mobile app to register for this free tool.  You will need your account number as it appears on your utility bill.  If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

What if I have a single incident that I correct immediately?  Can the incident be removed from my record (can my incident counts be reset)? 

The City acknowledges that incidents may sometimes occur due to circumstances outside of a customer’s control.  In acknowledgment of this, no enforcement action will be taken for the first water conservation incident recorded in a calendar month.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, enforcement actions begin once a second incident is recorded in a single month.  Therefore, a single incident that is corrected immediately will not have any impact on a customer’s water conservation enforcement history.

Can the City just call me to notify me of a one-time incident to bring it to my attention so that I can correct the problem, rather than adding the incident to my record?

Unfortunately, City staff does not have the capacity to monitor each individual customer’s account to identify an incident and notify that customer.  The City acknowledges that incidents may sometimes occur due to circumstances outside of a customer’s control.  In acknowledgment of this, no enforcement action will be taken for the first water conservation incident recorded in a calendar month.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, enforcement actions begin once a second incident is recorded in a single month.  Therefore, a single incident that is corrected immediately will not have any impact on a customer’s water conservation enforcement history.

Customers are encouraged to sign up for EyeOnWater, which includes a “leak alert” notification feature. Customers can set up the leak alert to be alerted immediately about water use that is consistent over a 24 hour period.  This feature allows customers to be notified of leaks in a timely manner so that they can make any necessary corrections or repairs.

Visit http://fresno.eyeonwater.com/signup or download the EyeOnWater mobile app to register for this free tool.  You will need your account number as it appears on your utility bill.  If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Can I be notified of an incident immediately via email, rather than finding out about it days later through a mailed letter?

The City does not currently have the capability to email incident notices – all notices and fines are sent via postal mail.

Customers can access the WaterWeb Customer Portal at any time to view a history of water conservation incidents that have been recorded on their account.  Customers will need their utility account number and house number to log in and access their

What if I need to use water on a restricted day while repairs are made to my irrigation system?

Customers may request a short-term exemption to the regular Outdoor Water Use Schedule for a bona fide use of water.  Customers may submit a Short-Term Exemption Application no less than 48 hours prior to the non-compliant water use.  If repairs must be made immediately and it is not possible to request a short-term exemption, customers are encouraged to contact Water Conservation upon completion of the repairs so that a note can be made on the customer’s account of the bona fide use.  Customers can contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

What if a pipe breaks and it uses a lot of water on a restricted day? 

The City acknowledges that incidents may sometimes occur due to circumstances outside of a customer’s control.  In acknowledgment of this, no enforcement action will be taken for the first water conservation incident recorded in a calendar month.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, enforcement actions begin once a second incident is recorded in a single month.  Therefore, a single incident that is corrected immediately will not have any impact on a customer’s water conservation enforcement history.

If a lot of water is inadvertently used on a restricted day, customers are encouraged to notify Water Conservation about the problem once the issue is discovered.  Customers can contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Customers are also encouraged to sign up for EyeOnWater, which includes a “leak alert” notification feature.  This feature allows customers to be notified of leaks in a timely manner so that they can make any necessary corrections or repairs.

Visit http://fresno.eyeonwater.com/signup to register for this free tool.  You will need your account number as it appears on your utility bill.  If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

What if someone steals my water or my sprinklers keep getting vandalized, thereby causing me to use water on a restricted day?

The City acknowledges that incidents may sometimes occur due to circumstances outside of a customer’s control.  In acknowledgment of this, no enforcement action will be taken for the first water conservation incident recorded in a calendar month.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, enforcement actions begin once a second incident is recorded in a single month.  Therefore, a single incident that is corrected immediately will not have any impact on a customer’s water conservation enforcement history.

If you have a regular problem with water theft or vandalism, contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to discuss your options.

What if I need to fill my pool and it can’t be completed during the proper watering hours?

Topping off of established swimming pools to replenish water lost to evaporation or use must be completed during the appropriate outdoor water use hours.  Customers are encouraged to make sure their auto-fill devices are set appropriately to remain in compliance with the definition of excessive water use.

Per the Fresno Municipal Code, draining established swimming pools more than once every three years is prohibited, except as necessary to complete structural repairs or to comply with public health standards.  Customers must submit a Short-Term Exemption Application no less than 48 hours prior to the planned pool draining and refilling.  Once a Short-Term Exemption Permit is approved, the customer may proceed with the pool drain.  The pool can be refilled during restricted hours for the duration of the approved Short-Term Exemption Permit.  Once the permit expires, the pool must be filled only during the appropriate outdoor water use hours.

Newly built or renovated pools that require a complete fill qualify for a short-term exemption.  Customers must submit a Short-Term Exemption Application no less than 48 hours prior to the planned pool filling.  Once a Short-Term Exemption Permit is approved, the customer may proceed with the pool fill.  The pool can then be filled during restricted hours for the duration of the approved Short-Term Exemption Permit.  Once the permit expires, the pool must be filled only during the appropriate outdoor water use hours.

Will the City fine itself for flooding medians or watering on the wrong days/times?

All customers are subject to watering regulations.  Reports of water waste on City property are immediately directed to the appropriate City department for correction.

What does the City do with the fine revenue that is collected?

All revenue from fines is deposited in the Water Enterprise Fund to fund Operations & Maintenance activities, debt service payments, capital improvements and provide adequate reserves.

What if I get a fine and I can’t afford to pay it?

Contact Utilities Billing & Collections at (559) 621-6888 to ask about payment options.

If I get too many fines, can my water be turned off?

Per the Fresno Municipal Code, if a customer has more than six consecutive months of water waste, water service may be terminated.  Water service is subject to termination for non-payment or non-compliance with regulations in Fresno Municipal Code 6-520.

Is there a process to protest a fine? 

If customers wish to appeal a water conservation incident that has been recorded on their account, the customer may complete and submit the Application for Appeal of Water Conservation Incident, or the customer must contact the Water Conservation Program via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Appeals must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance of the utility bill on which the fine was included.  Once the application has been received, the Water Conservation Supervisor will investigate the incident and will provide a determination within 15 days of receipt of the customer’s appeal, or receiving any applicable evidence from the customer, whichever comes later.

Water Meters & Technology

How do I know my meter is accurate and is reading the correct time and gallons?

The accuracy of water meters is based on the American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards. The Water Division has a meter testing program and can test meters for accuracy if needed.

Individual water meters record consumption on an hourly basis and report to the system every six hours via a radio frequency signal to strategically placed gateways throughout the City.  The gateways then transmit, via cellular backhaul, the reads gathered from multiple meter endpoints to a server located at the City.  These reads are then forwarded to the Beacon data management system and are used for City/customer interface and billing.

What do I do if I think my meter isn’t recording accurately? 

For help understanding your water meter readings, or for any concerns regarding incorrect meter read data, contact the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

I have a larger water meter – 1 1/2 inches.  How does the City determine “excessive use” for non-standard single-family residential meter sizes?

All single-family residential water meters, including non-standard meters – are held to the same excessive water use standard in the Fresno Municipal Code.

How does the City know my water was used for landscaping/outdoor watering?

“Excessive Water Use” is defined for customers in single-family residences as the use of potable water in excess of 400 gallons per hour during days or hours when outdoor irrigation is prohibited.  This is a very high hourly use that the City has asserted is not compatible with indoor use only.  For example, one bathtub holds around 100 gallons – a customer would need to fill four bathtubs to the brim within an hour in order exceed the threshold.

I received a letter (incident notice) and called the City.  They said the meter report shows days the meter did not read and the use was estimated.  How does it happen that the meter does not read?  Why will I be fined based on an estimate?

Occasionally, individual water meters experience transmission errors that need to be corrected by Water Division staff.  In this case, water consumption data is estimated, based on a number of variables.

Fines will not be issued based on estimated consumption data.  Properties are still subject to enforcement if Water Conservation staff observes outdoor watering during prohibited hours.

What if my sprinkler timers act up, or my power goes out causing my timers to reset, and they cause me to water during a prohibited day/time without my knowledge?

The City acknowledges that incidents may sometimes occur due to circumstances outside of a customer’s control.  In acknowledgment of this, no enforcement action will be taken for the first water conservation incident recorded in a calendar month.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, enforcement actions begin once a second incident is recorded in a single month.  Therefore, a single incident that is corrected immediately will not have any impact on a customer’s water conservation enforcement history.

Customers are also encouraged to sign up for EyeOnWater, which includes a “leak alert” notification feature.  This feature allows customers to be notified of leaks in a timely manner so that they can make any necessary corrections or repairs.

Visit http://fresno.eyeonwater.com/signup or download the EyeOnWater mobile app to register for this free tool.  You will need your account number as it appears on your utility bill.  If you have any questions or do not have access to a computer, contact Water Conservation via the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Finally, the Water Conservation Program offers an Irrigation Controller Assistance (Timer Tutorial) service for customers who need assistance understanding their timer.  Customers can request this service online through FresGO or the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 from within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Watering Restrictions

Can I report water waste if I see it?

Yes, customers are encouraged to report incidents of water waste that are observed within the City of Fresno.  Reports may be submitted online through FresGO or by calling the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Can I water outside on restricted days/times if I use less than 400 gallons per hour?

Customers should only irrigate their landscape according to the Outdoor Water Use Schedule.  With the use of automated enforcement, water use below 400 gallons per hour is waived to allow for ample indoor water use, but customers should still adhere to the Outdoor Water Use Schedule to avoid exceeding the legal threshold.

Outdoor water use is subject to visual enforcement, so water use during restricted hours may be enforced if Water Conservation staff observe non-compliant water use.

I have a large lot and expensive landscaping that I need to water more often than the City allows.  Can I get an exemption?

All single-family residential water meters are held to the same excessive water use standard in the Fresno Municipal Code.  The City has consulted with horticulturists and determined that the watering schedule allows for enough irrigation time for healthy lawns.

Per the Fresno Municipal Code, exemptions to the approved Outdoor Water Use Schedule may be approved for the following properties:

    1. Properties with multiple addresses;
    2. Properties with a turfed or landscaped area of two acres or larger;
    3. Properties without street addresses.

Properties with drip irrigation systems for community or residential fruit and vegetable gardens and fruit trees may also qualify for a Long-Term Exemption from the current Outdoor Water Use Schedule.

Property owners must submit a Long-Term (Annual) Exemption Application that includes a proposed alternate outdoor water use schedule for more frequent watering or different water use days than allowed by the current Outdoor Water Use Schedule.

Additional information about exemptions can be found on the Exemptions page of this site or by calling the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

My utility bill shows that I use less water than the average water user in Fresno.  Why am I still getting a notice/fine?

Thank you for helping the City of Fresno conserve water.  Unfortunately, the Fresno Municipal Code does not allow for exceptions based on the history of water use.  Customers should still follow the Outdoor Water Use Schedule, regardless of their overall water consumption.

What if I install a new lawn and landscape and need to water every day for a couple of weeks?

New lawn establishment qualifies for a short-term exemption from the approved Outdoor Water Use Schedule.  Per the Fresno Municipal Code, short-term exemptions to the approved Outdoor Water Use Schedule may be approved for a specific time period for the following properties:

    1. Properties with new lawns not yet established;
    2. Properties seeking to use water for a bona fide use, such as solar panel cleaning or other use necessary for health or preservation of property.

Customers must submit a Short-Term Exemption Application no less than 2 business days before irrigation of the new lawn begins.  Once a Short-Term Exemption Permit is issued, water may be used for irrigation during restricted hours for the duration of the approved permit.  Once the permit expires, outdoor irrigation must be completed during the appropriate outdoor water use hours.

New lawn establishment does not include over-seeding of existing lawns.

Additional information about exemptions can be found on the Exemptions page of this site or by calling the City of Fresno 311 Center by calling (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Other Customers – Reports of Water Waste

My neighbor is watering on the right day but flooding my yard at 3:00 am.  Is it true that no one from the City can come to see what’s happening at that time so I can prove it?

Customers are encouraged to report incidents of water waste that are observed within the City of Fresno.  Reports may be submitted online through FresGO or by calling the City of Fresno 311 Center by dialing (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A representative may not be available to visually investigate at the time the flooding is occurring, however a plan to eliminate the watering issue will be implemented.

My neighbor has a leak in their drip line that only shows up when they irrigate at 11:00 pm.  They irrigate on the correct day/time and don’t overwater.  I have told them about it, but they don’t do anything to correct the problem.  Is there anything the City can do?

Customers are encouraged to report incidents of water waste that are observed within the City of Fresno.  Reports may be submitted online through FresGO or by calling the City of Fresno 311 Center by dialing (559) 621-CITY (2489) or dialing 3-1-1 within City limits between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A representative may not be available to visually investigate at the time the flooding is occurring, however a plan to eliminate the watering issue will be implemented.