Single Family Residential Customer Drought Portal

SFR Webpage Top Photos Graphic REV

Drought information for Single Family Residential (SFR) Customers

This webpage provides Goleta Water District Single Family Residential (SFR) Customers
 with up-to-date statistics and information on current water supplies, demand, and the effect of the ongoing drought on the Goleta Valley.  SFR customers include District customers living in a single dwelling unit, typically with one family.  SFR customers account for 79% of total accounts, but used only 28% of total District water use over the last 12 months.

Conservation to Date

The District is currently in a Stage III Water Shortage Emergency and is targeting a 35% reduction in demand from its customers, including SFR customers, to help ensure adequate water supplies remain available. SFR water use decreased by almost 30% in 2015, but as the drought deepens, additional conservation is needed.

SFR Percentage Change from Baseline Image 180309

Click here for the Percentage Change in SFR Use PDF.

Limiting outdoor irrigation by removing turf is one of the easiest ways to significantly reduce your water consumption.  Consider eliminating or sharply reducing your outdoor irrigation by reducing the size of your lawn or mulching over it.  Stop or reduce watering your lawn, and let it turn gold.  Show the Goleta Valley that it is OK to let your lawn go thirsty during a drought.

While the District does not currently prohibit lawns, more severe restrictions banning the use of outdoor sprinklers and the watering of lawns may become necessary if the drought continues.  The District recommends delaying planting even waterwise plants until the fall.  Your lawn and ornamental landscaping may be costing you over $700 a year, so consider cutting back on outdoor irrigation to save water and money.

Stage III Water Shortage Emergency

The District is currently in a Stage III Water Shortage Emergency and is targeting a 35% reduction in demand from its SFR customers to help ensure adequate water supplies remain available.  The Stage III water use restrictions directly impacting SFR customers include:

Outdoor landscape irrigation

Outdoor landscape irrigation remains limited to no more than two times per week during early or late evening hours, and is now prohibited within 48 hours of measurable rainfall:

  • Manual watering (including with a sprinkler attached to a hose) is now only allowed before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m., any two days per week.
  • Use of fixed (i.e., installed) sprinkler systems for residential properties is limited to Wednesdays and Saturdays, before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Public parks, athletic fields, and golf courses may now water no more than two days per week, before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

No Excessive Irrigation.  Irrigating in a manner that results in runoff to adjacent property or non-irrigated areas, such as sidewalks, gutters, storm drains, and driveways, is prohibited.

Vehicles and boats may only be washed at commercial car washing facilities or with a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

Use of water in outdoor fountains, reflection ponds, and decorative water features is prohibited unless located on a residential property or home to aquatic life as of September 9, 2014.

Uncorrected Plumbing Leaks.  Plumbing system leaks, breaks, or other system failures must be corrected within 48 hours of discovery.

Hose Nozzles Required.  All hoses must be equipped with a shut-off nozzle.

No Washing Down Sidewalks or Other Hard Surfaces.  This includes driveways, parking lots, open ground, and other paved surfaces, with the exception of the use of a pressure washer where necessary for maintenance, limited to once every two months where necessary to address immediate health and safety hazards, and where necessary to prepare paved surfaces for sealing.

For a full list of Stage III restrictions click here.


SFR customers are eligible for the following rebate programs to increase conservation:

Smart Landscape Rebate Program

The program provides incentives to LSIR customers to replace water thirsty landscapes and inefficient irrigation with water-wise plants and irrigation.  Rebates cover a portion of the cost of pre-approved design, irrigation equipment, and landscape materials. Projects must be approved in advance and landscapes for new construction are not eligible.  The program is not retroactive.  Sales receipts and/or contractor invoices are required for all rebates.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Landscape Design: 50% of the cost of landscape design, up to a maximum of $250 for design services. Design will only be rebated in combination with other approved materials.
  • Irrigation Equipment: 50% of the cost of drip irrigation parts, sprinkler system efficiency retrofits, rotating sprinkler nozzles, and equipment for a laundry to landscape graywater system.
  • Water-Wise Plants and Mulch: 50% of the cost of water-wise plants and mulch. Planted areas must be covered with a 3-inch or greater layer of mulch.
  • Smart Irrigation Controller: 50% of cost of the smart irrigation controller. Smart irrigation controllers work on simple principles: provide the appropriate watering schedule; automatically adjust for weather changes; irrigate based on the needs of your plants.
  • Synthetic Turf and Permeable Surfaces: 50% of the cost of artificial turf and other permeable surfaces.
  • Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater: 50% of the cost of laundry-to-landscape graywater system parts.

Water Saving Devices Distribution Program

This program distributes FREE water saving devices to customers in order to increase District-wide water savings.  Devices include garden hose nozzles with multi-stream and automatic shut-off capability, 0.5 gallon per minute bathroom faucet aerators, 1.5 gallon per minute showerheads, showerhead shut-off valves, toilet leak food coloring test tablets, and toilet flappers.

  • Shut-off nozzles: 
As of September 9, 2014 when the District declared a Stage II Water Shortage Emergency, hoses used for any purpose must be equipped with a shut-off nozzle.  A shut-off nozzle provides an automatic shut-off capability, and helps to save water.  Make sure you use a shut-off nozzle anytime you use your hose.
  • Low-flow bathroom faucet aerators: Faucet aerators help you use less water and save money.  Aerators use air to break up the flow of water into multiple streams, so while they reduce the rate at which water flows through the device most people won’t notice a difference.  Each faucet aerator is estimated to conserve approximately 700 gallons per year.
  • Low-flow showerheads: 
These shower heads make showering more efficient by slowing the rate at which water flows through the showerhead.  A low-flow showerhead is estimated to produce a savings of 2,000 gallons per year.
  • Showerhead shut-off valves
: These devices make it easy to turn off water in the shower without adjusting the temperature settings, letting you save water while you shampoo or shave.
  • Toilet leak detection tablets 
Use these food grade food dye tablets to conduct a simple test at home to detect leaks that could be costing you money and wasting water.
  • Toilet flappers:  If you find a leak in your toilet, it could be a worn out flapper.  Even if you have a low-flow toilet, if your flapper is worn out you could be wasting water and money.

The District makes water saving devices available to customers at the front desk of the District office at no charge (while supplies last).  Thank you for everything you do to save water during the drought.  For more information please send an email to Turn on Javascript!.


Single Family Residential class use is primarily influenced by weather conditions, household and lot size, and age of the home, as older fixtures tend to be less water efficient.  July through September are the highest water usage months, consistent with increased outdoor irrigation. The greatest indicator of water use for SFR customers is typically lot size. Larger parcels have greater outdoor areas, which account for higher water use.  Yet most SFR customers have relatively small lot sizes, with 70% of SFR customers on a lot smaller than ¼ of an acre in size.  The average use per SFR account is approximately 10 hundred cubic feet per month (HCFM).  The greatest number of customers use between 4-8 HCFM.

SFR Customer Use Distribution Image 160310

Because the lot size is often correlated with higher water use, it is helpful to look at water use among similar property sizes.  Medium size lots between ½ acre and ¾ acre conserved the most over the past year.


The District’s supply portfolio includes Lake Cachuma, the Goleta Groundwater Basin, the State Water Project, and recycled water.  The current drought has reduced the available supply from Lake Cachuma and the State Water Project.  For the first time in the Lake’s history, the District is receiving a zero allocation starting on October 1, 2015.  Instead, the District will increasingly rely on the Goleta Groundwater Basin.


Smart Landscape Rebate Program: Please click here for program details, or call (805) 879-4643.

Water Saving Incentive Program: Please click here for program details, or call (805) 879-4643.

Santa Barbara County Rainfall and Reservoir Summary

Santa Barbara County Public Works (rainfall, reservoir, stream, and other hydrologic related information and data)

Please contact Ryan Drake, Water Supply and Conservation Manager, with any questions or for additional information.
Turn on Javascript!
(805) 879-4627