Healdsburg bans outdoor watering as drought conditions worsen

People living in Healdsburg must turn off their sprinklers and drip irrigation systems because the city has declared a drought emergency, city officials said Friday.

The ban applies to all residential, commercial and industrial customers in the city. Healdsburg is in Sonoma County, which is enduring exceptional and severe drought conditions due to a lack of rain. City officials have instituted several measures to help conserve water. 

"The use of sprinklers and drip irrigation is banned -- shut off controllers today," the city said in an advisory message.

Also, residents should save water and reuse it, shut off running taps and hand-water gardens from their daily allowance.

At present, residential customers in the city have a water budget of 74 gallons per person per day, and commercial customers are required to reduce water usage by 40 percent.

On April 21, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a drought emergency in the Russian River watershed, which spans Sonoma and Mendocino counties. This was a month after the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning to water utilities, including the City of Healdsburg, and agricultural water customers to prepare for drought impacts statewide.