In California, more than half of the water used at your home is for outside purposes. Studies show that on average, half of the water used outdoors is wasted. The leading cause of waste is incorrectly set and poorly managed irrigation controllers. The Water Calculator is intended to give you crucial advice on how to set your controller properly and how to manage it thereafter. Use the button below to begin:
* If your irrigation controller has a "Seasonal or Budget Adjust % Feature" we suggest that you program your controller to the July recommendations and then adjust as suggested below:
Water Restriction Notice - City of Redwood City
a) The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, is prohibited.
b) The use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device attached to it that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use, is prohibited.
c) The application of potable water to driveways and sidewalks is prohibited.
d) Ornamental landscapes or turf not supplied through a dedicated irrigation meter with potable water shall only be irrigated twice per week as follows: addresses ending with an odd number shall only irrigate ornamental landscapes or turf on Mondays and Thursdays, and addresses ending with an even number shall only irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays. It is prohibited to irrigate ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water on Saturdays, Sundays or Wednesdays.
Water Restriction Notice - Alameda County Water District
a) Landscapes can be watered one day per week for the period of October 1 through May 31, two days per week from June 1 - September 30. Landscape irrigation between December 1 - March 31 should be avoided except during an extended dry period. During this period landscape irrigation while it is raining is prohibited.
b) The use of water for lawn or garden watering, or any other landscape irrigation which results in excessive ponding, flooding and/or excessive runoff in gutters or other waterways, patios, driveways, sidewalks or streets is prohibited.
Water Restriction Notice - City of Hayward
a) Irrigating lawns, landscaping or other vegetated areas in a manner that allows significant amounts of potable water to flow onto sidewalks, driveways, roads, parking lots or non-irrigated areas.
b) Using a hose for any purpose, including vehicle washing, until the hose is equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
c) Washing sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, buildings or other outdoor structures with potable water.
d) Excessive use of water due to defective or broken plumbing or irrigation system.
e) Using a decorative fountain or other ornamental water features unless the water is recirculated.
f) Any use of potable water that results in significant runoff to streets, driveways, or sidewalks.
Water Restriction Notice - City of Menlo Park
a) Potable water shall not be applied in any manner to any driveway or sidewalk, except when necessary to address immediate health or safety concerns.
b) Potable water shall not be used to water outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff onto non-irrigated areas, walkways, roadways, parking lots, or other hard surfaces.
c) Hoses must be equipped with a shut-off valve for washing vehicles.
d) Use only re-circulated or recycled water to operate ornamental fountains.
e) Broken or defective plumbing and irrigation systems must be repaired or replaced within a reasonable period.
f) Restaurants and other food service operations shall serve water to customers only upon request.
Water Restriction Notice - City of Millbrae
a) Irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water is restricted to between the hours of 6:00pm and 10:00am.
b) Hoses used for any purpose must be fitted with shut-off nozzles.
c) Use of water is not allowed which results in flooding or runoff in gutters, driveways, or streets.
Water Restriction Notice - City of Mountain View
a) Wasting water from broken or defective water systems.
b) Washing paved or hard surfaces, except by bucket or for health and safety reasons.
c) At-home vehicle washing, except by bucket.
d) Watering or irrigation landscapes: between 9:00am and 5:00pm (except by bucket, hose, or for system repair), more than three days per week (for each irrigation stations), more than 15 minutes per day (except for drip irrigation or for system repair), during rain events.
e) Using potable water to fill decorative water features, except to sustain aquatic life (water must be recirculated).
f) Using non water-conserving dishwashing spray valves in restaurants.
g) Providing new linens to hotel guests without offering reuse options.
h) Constructing or installing and operating new commercial car washes and commercial laundry systems that do not use water-recirculating technologies.
i) Using potable water for construction needs when recycled water is readily available.
j) Using water in a manner that results in flooding or runoff into the gutter.
k) Serving water in a restaurant, except upon request.
l) Operating single-pass cooling systems.
Water Restriction Notice - East Palo Alto Water District
a) The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures.
b) The use of a hose that dispenses potable water to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device attached to it that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when in not use.
c) The application of potable water to driveways and sidewalks.
d) The use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system.
Water Restriction Notice - Mid-Peninsula Water District
a) Landscape irrigation that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent properties, non-irrigated areas, private & public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures.
b) Washing of cars, trucks, trailers, boats & other types of mobile equipment, except where a hose is fitted with a positive shut-off novel or other devise so that water is not dispensed when not in use.
c) Use of running water to clean driveways, sidewalks, patios, parking areas, and other paved or hard surfaces.
d) Operation of a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system.
Water Restriction Notice - Stanford University
Lawn irrigation using domestic water is restricted to 2 days per week (Tuesday & Saturday nights - even numbered addresses, Wednesday & Sunday nights - odd numbered addresses) between the hours of 7pm and 7am (in effect since 8/1/2014).
Water Restriction Notice - City of Milpitas
a) Use of potable water for cleaning of any hard surfaces, such as sidewalks, streets, buildings, and parking lots.
b) Use of potable water for construction purposes including dust control and compaction.
c) Construction of new swimming pools or ponds not currently permitted.
d) Use of potable water for cleaning, filling, or operating water features, such as decorative fountains.
e) Use of potable water for irrigation of golf courses, except greens and tees area.
f) Use of potable water for watering or irrigation of any plants, lawn, grass, landscaping or turf areas between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm, adjusted for Daylight Savings Time, and for more than two days during any seven day period.
g) Use of potable water for installation of new landscape unless served by reclaimed water.
h) Exceptions to the prohibitions enumerated 5.01 through 5.07 may be granted in the discretion of the city council.
Seasonal / Budget Adjust % Feature is used to make global run time changes without reprogramming the entire controller. This feature is perfect for making small changes that are necessary as the weather changes throughout the year. For instance, during hotter times of the year, the landscape may require a bit more water. Seasonal Adjust can be increased so the stations run longer than the programmed time. Conversely, as fall approaches the Seasonal Adjust can be reduced to allow for short watering durations.
Minutes per Cycle: How many minutes in a row that station or valve must run at one time. It is the length of one 'run time'. If the minutes per cycle produces run-off, reduce the time and add cycles.
Cycles per Day: This is how many times the above activity must happen to get the plant or turf enough water without incurring runoff. A Cycle is how many times the station or valve runs on a given day. Sometimes known as a run time. Some controllers don't offer as many cycle starts as are recommended in the Calculator. Do the best the controller allows.
Days between Watering: This is how many days must elapse before you should run through the routine of cycle(s) recommended above. Some controllers don't allow more than 7 days per run time or cycle start. Some controllers are based on days of the week and cannot have more than 7 days between watering. Do the best you can with this limitation.
Est. Gallons Used: This is an estimate of the number of gallons of water used for the given month. The estimate is a high and low range, as the exact number of gallons used depends upon some factors beyond the scope of this calculator.
Adjust your automatic timer, as best you can, according to the numbers you get from the calculator. You may need to make compromises based on the limitations of the controller. Pay attention to your plants for stress, and increase or decrease watering times accordingly. Skip two watering days when it rains or when the soil is already wet. Re-program your timer each month using your GardenSoft Water Calculator schedule as a guide.
Important Drought Notice: The Water Calculator does not take into account any local mandatory conservation measures that may be in effect because of the current drought. Please check with your water provider to find out what watering days and times are allowed in your area.
Disclaimer: The information provided by this calculator is of a general nature and must be interpreted by the user for their own specific needs. Therefore the Water Agency and GardenSoft cannot be held liable for any landscape losses or damages from the use of this information. The reader of this information is responsible to verify these suggestions with local irrigation professionals.