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Stage 2 water conservation - what does it mean for your business?

June 8, 2022
Water conservation card from restaurant

A note from the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District regarding Stage 2 Conservation for hospitality industry-related businesses:

On June 1, 2022, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District directed California American Water to enact Stage 2 Water Conservation in response to an Order from the California Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) and Governor Newsom. Stage 2 on the Monterey Peninsula involves an increase in enforcement of our Water Waste Rules and a ban on the irrigation of “non-functional turf.”  Specifically, restaurants and lodging properties must do the following:

Please ensure that restaurant waitstaff are not serving water unless the customer specifically asks for water. The law requires either a sign on the table or on the menu to that effect.  District staff will be enforcing this requirement as a top priority, as it conveys the message that water conservation is extremely important on the Monterey Peninsula. District staff will be looking for messaging about asking for water, and we will enforce violations for water service if not specifically requested by the customer. Fines begin after a warning. Please educate staff. All violations are public records and probably will be published in our local media at some point. 

For hotels, there is a requirement that sheets and towels are only changed every three days unless requested by the customer.

"Water is Precious" signs for restaurants and lodging properties are available at MCHA, Cal-Am, and the District. Please send an email to with your signage needs and the District will deliver them to you during regular business hours.

The District will be gradually visiting all visitor serving commercial businesses over the next several months to verify compliance with MPWMD Rule 143.  If a customer is not compliant, they risk moving to higher rates and violations for wasting water. Properties that have transferred ownership or changed use are subject to more stringent water efficiency requirements (Rule 142-E).

All commercial businesses are required to have water efficient toilets, showerheads, faucets, ice machines and laundry facilities (as applicable).  It is important to have the Water Management District and Cal-Am document compliance with these requirements to be sure the business is getting the lowest water rates available, and that the business will be exempt from the possibility of future water rationing .

You may call the Water Management District at 831-658-5601 to schedule an inspection to document that your business is compliant with water efficiency requirements.

If you have questions, please email


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