Watering Restrictions Begin Thurs. Sept. 1st in Las Vegas—Can You Be Fined for Overusing?

Water waste is a major concern in the dry Southwest – therefore, enforcement of Las Vegas water restrictions has begun. In the Nevada desert, citizens are asked to abide by important water conservation efforts. Starting September 1st, watering restrictions begin in the Las Vegas Valley. The Southern Nevada Water Authority provides specific guidelines for business owners and residents regarding how often and how much they can water their properties. Watering on days other than your allotted schedule can result in hefty fines and fees.

Why the Need for Las Vegas Water Restrictions?

Watering RestrictionsThe Las Vegas Valley Water District cites that Lake Mead, which the Colorado River flows into, reached record-low levels. Since 2000, the lake’s water level has dropped more than 130 feet. Researchers believe that the ongoing drought is due to below-average snowfall in the Rocky Mountains. The snow melts and runs off into the Colorado River, where the Las Vegas Valley gets about 90% of its water.

To conserve the Valley’s precious water supply, the Southern Nevada Water Authority put special drought measures in place. These include outdoor watering restrictions, watering assignments for landscaping, and higher water waste fees and water rates. Part of these measures is a mandatory watering system by which all Las Vegas Valley residents must abide-or else they face fines and fees for disobedience.

Updated Fall Watering Restrictions

September 1st marks the first day of fall in the eyes of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. From September 1st to October 31st, residents must abide by the fall Las Vegas water restrictions. Landscape irrigation is limited to three pre-assigned days per week. Lawn watering may occur three times a day, up to four minutes for each watering cycle. You must leave at least one hour between each watering cycle to let the hard desert soil absorb the water. This prevents water from running off lawns and into the streets.

You can water by hand at any time as often as desired. To treat brown spot areas on lawns, the Las Vegas Valley Water District advises residents to add a tablespoon of liquid soap to a gallon of water and soak the affected area. This helps break down the soil’s surface and allows for better water absorption. Residents are advised to water before sunrise, add mulch to prevent erosion and water loss, and use drip irrigation. Watering on days other than your assigned day (Sunday is not an option) can result in water waste fines.

Mandatory Watering Schedule

The Las Vegas Valley Water District has modified its mandatory watering schedule. Residents must follow the schedule below:

Summer Spring/Fall Winter
Monday-Saturday Monday, Wednesday, Friday Monday
Monday-Saturday Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Tuesday
Monday-Saturday Monday, Wednesday, Friday Wednesday
Monday-Saturday Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Thursday
Monday-Saturday Monday, Wednesday, Friday Friday
Monday-Saturday Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Saturday

Desert Landscaping

The Las Vegas Valley Water District is enforcing water restrictions that may affect the landscaping on your property. The law requires the removal of non-functional turf and mulch. The government will then rebate $3 per square foot of grass that is removed and replaced with desert landscaping. The law also requires watering new or reseeded landscapes daily for up to 14 days per year.

Other Measures to Conserve Water in Las Vegas

These tools can help you conserve water on your property, clean your car with less water, detect leaks, and more.

Smart Irrigation Clocks

An automatic irrigation clock offers several advantages over manual sprinkler control. They can be programmed to water at specific times during the day, week, or month. They can also be programmed to water for a specific duration or interval.

Water Smart Car Wash

Water Smart car washes throughout Las Vegas offer an eco-friendly way for you to wash your vehicle while saving water and money. Commercial car washes use less water than the average homeowner and often recycle the water. Discount coupons for participating Water Smart car washes are available.

Smart Leak Detector

Another way to conserve water is with a smart leak detector. These devices automatically detect leaks in your pipes and alert you via email or text message. They can also let you know when to change out your sprinkler heads for ones that use less water. The Southern Nevada Water Authority is currently offering a 50% rebate off the purchase price.

Consequences for Overusing Water

Yes, you can be fined if you overuse water in the fall months in Las Vegas Valley. Water waste fees vary, depending on the meter size of the waste and the number of violations the resident accrues. When water waste is reported, the water district investigates the claim, determines if there is a violation, and issues a notice. If the customer fails to fix the problem, the district assesses fees on the resident’s water bill. A rebate for first-time fees is available to citizens who attend a water conservation class or complete a Curbing Water Waste test.

Water waste fines range from $80 for the first violation of one inch or less of water waste to a $5,120 fine for the fifth violation of three inches or greater. Customers can protest the fines and request a hearing. You must include an explanation for your appeal, whether it is for the fee, violation, or both. If your system has a design flaw causing the problem, you can apply for an extension to make repairs.

Consider hiring a lawyer to make an appeal on your behalf if you are incorrectly assessed a fee.