About Green Riverside
Blue Riverside
Mandatory Water Conservation Measures for Riverside Public Utilities Customers

The Drought

As California’s record drought continues with no relief in sight, Governor Jerry Brown recently issued an Executive Order that sets new guidelines and restrictions for water providers and their customers throughout the state. 

See the new Executive Order here.

In response to the continuing drought and statewide calls for conservation, Riverside Public Utilities’ Board of Directors recently extended the water restrictions currently in place in Riverside for the next several weeks.

These are the water use restrictions currently in place in Riverside: 

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the Riverside City Council adopted the following water supply restrictions for all Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) water customers effective immediately:

·         All outdoor watering must be reduced to no more than four (4) times per week.

·         Outdoor watering can only occur between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.

·         Watering to the point of run off or applying water to streets and sidewalks is prohibited.

·         Irrigation and plumbing leaks must be fixed within 72 hours of notice.

·         Washing of autos etc. must be done with a bucket or a hose with a shut-off nozzle.

·         RPU water customers are asked to reduce water use by up to 15%.

·         Restaurants should provide water only on request.

·         Hotels shall provide customers with options of not having towels/linens washed daily.

·         Construction operations receiving water shall not use water unnecessarily.

To help you meet new water conservation goals, Riverside Public Utilities will continue to fund all of our water conservation rebate programs that provide incentives for installing water-saving sprinkler nozzles and weather-based sprinkler timers, installing high-efficiency toilets and clothes washers, and more. 

We have also increased incentives on our two lawn removal programs:

Residential incentives for our Waterwise Landscaping turf removal program have been increased to $2.00 per square foot of turf removed or up to 100% of the project’s cost, whichever is lower.  There are no minimum project size restrictions. Residential incentives for our Artificial Turf installation program have been increased to $2.00 per square foot, up to 2,000 sq. ft. for a maximum rebate of $4,000 to replace lawn areas with artificial turf. Commercial programs are also available.

Conservation program information and applications are available at GreenRiverside.com.   

Riverside Public Utilities has proudly served our customer-owners for more than 100 years. With your help, RPU will be able to comply with the state’s emergency conservation requirements while ensuring that water resources will continue to be available to serve this, and future generations. 

Answers to common questions about the drought:

Is Riverside in a drought like other California cities?
Yes. While Riverside receives its water from local groundwater sources, with no snow or rain to replenish our underground aquifers, Riverside’s water sources are at risk.

How do the state-imposed water restrictions affect RPU water customers?

All RPU water customers must adhere to all state-mandated restrictions for water conservation, use and water waste, as well as all local water conservation, use, and waste restrictions.

Can I be fined if I don’t follow the restrictions?
Yes. The state has authorized water suppliers to impose a $500-per-day fine for water waste violators, and the City of Riverside can impose those fines should such violations occur after being notified.

How many days of the week can I water? And how do I know which days of the week I can water - is there a schedule?

Riverside Public Utilities water customers may use outdoor irrigation 4 days per week between the watering hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. Currently there is no schedule for what days you can use.

How long with the restrictions last?

The July 22, 2014 resolution by Riverside’s City Council will be in place for the next several weeks. The Council can at any time through further resolutions extend or amend these restrictions.

Will my water rates go up?

No. Riverside Public Utilities is not planning rate increases to deal with drought restrictions at this time.

I have a swimming pool. Do I need to do anything?

Not at this time.

Where can I report water waste?

If you spot water run off or other water waste, you may report it through our 311 Call Center by dialing 311 (or 826-5311), online at www.RiversideCA.gov, or by using the 311 Call Center App.

Where can I find more information about the drought?
Drought information, as well as water saving and conservation tips and information on how to apply for Riverside Public Utilities water conservation rebate programs is available here or by calling RPU at (951) 826-5485. 

Additional State information can be found at www.SaveOurWater.com



Water Utility History

After establishing a municipal electric utility in 1895, Riverside residents voted to create a municipal water utility in 1913 that would provide its customer-owners with reliable services at reasonable rates.

One hundred years after taking over many of the city’s first water distribution systems, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) continues to live up to that commitment. To achieve this goal, the utility worked hard to preserve its water rights, built and maintained a strong fiscal position, and actively constructed vital infrastructure projects to serve this, and future generations.


Today, RPU helps provide high quality, safe and reliable water services to the residents of the 12th largest city in California.

Day in and day out, a diverse and dedicated group of Water Division employees, from pipe fitters, laboratory technicians, and engineers to PhD’s, all work to fulfill our goals and service commitments. Through careful planning and resource management, RPU is now “Water Independent” – free of having to pay for higher cost imported water supplies.

Water Facts & System Data
Established ..............................................1913
Service Area Population ........................308,452
Service Area Size (square miles) .........74.4

System Data:
Miles of pipeline ........................................1,000
Total reservoir capacity (gallons) ..........108,500,000
Daily average production (gallons) ........60,014,625
2011-2012 Peak day (gallons) ...............88,370,000

Bond Ratings:
Fitch Ratings ..........................................AA+
Moody’s ..................................................Aa2
Standard & Poor’s .................................AAA

Number of Meters at Year End:
2012 .....................................................64,367

Total Operating Revenue (in millions):
2012. ...................................................$65.1

Water Rates and Statistics

Water Frequently Asked Questions



Water Conservation Rebates and Tips

Residential Water Conservation Rebates | Commercial Water Conservation Rebates | Water-saving tips 


Moving Forward

To ensure the future of Riverside Public Utilities water resources the Water Supply Plan looks to increase local water supplies through:

  • Diversification of our water supply portfolio, including fully developing area groundwater basins and improve their management.
  • Increase the use of recycled water by creating sources of direct delivery to offset potable (drinkable) supplies and recharge area groundwater basins.
  • Develop area surface water supplies, such as those at the Seven Oaks Dam and Mockingbird Canyon Dam, and the use of a rubber diversion dam along the Santa Ana River.


Some of our latest investments in Riverside’s water future include:

Evans Reservoir Replacement

The original, leaking, and unsafe reservoir near J.W. North High School built in 1968, was torn down and replaced with a new, state-of-the-art 16 million gallon reservoir completed in early 2012.

Victoria Avenue Water Main & Valve Replacement
This project replaced over 6,700 feet of water mains in the historic street that were 85 years old, and fitted new valves on the system to improve system reliability.

Gage 31-1R Well
This new well site in the Bunker Hill Basin replaces two older, less efficient wells, and will provide 3,250 gallons per minute, helping RPU remain water independent.

See our water projects map here

Urban Water Management Plan

The California Urban Water Management Planning Act (Water Code sections 10610 et seq.) mandates that every supplier providing water for municipal purposes to more that 3,000 customers or supplying more than 3,000 acre feet of water annually, prepare an Urban Water Management Plan, at least once every five years.

On July 1, 2011, Riverside's Board of Public Utilities held a public hearing on the draft Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP) prepared by Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) Department. The City Council adopted RPU's 2010 UWMP on July 12, 2011.

RPU's 2010 UWMP includes discussion of the following:

  • Existing and planned sources of water supplies; 
  • Plans for conservation and efficient use of water; and 
  • Assessment and reliability of water supplies.

UWMP Appendicies

Water Quality Reports

Each year, RPU publishes a Water Quality Annual Report to provide our customers with important information about Riverside’s water quality.  View our current and past reports:

2011 - English
2011 - En Español
2010 - English
2010 - En Español


Backflow Prevention

Backflow is the reversal of water's normal direction of flow. When water passes through a water meter into a customer's home or business it should not flow back into the City's water main. If it does, the condition is referred to as "backflow." Backflow prevention guards against the unintentional reversal of water flow. For more information please visit our page for full information.  For questions, call: (951) 351-6282.


Water Engineering Design Manuals

All developer-installed water facilities must be designed and installed in accordance with the approved City of Riverside Public Utilities plans and applicable standards and must be inspected by the utility. For more information please visit our page for full information. For questions, call: (951) 826-5285.


Water Conservation Resources

California Friendly Plants
Be Waterwise
H2O House
Water-Use It Wisely
Save Our Water
Water for Tomorrow
Water Landscaping Tips
Waterwise Demonstration Garden

News & Events
Green Spotlight
Find out about everything RPU is doing to ensure our water is safe.
Get your high efficiency sprinkler nozzles today and get a rebate.
Want Green Gear?
Riverside Public Utilities offers school programs for 4th and 5th graders.
Tune in each Monday at 6:30 p.m. on AM 590. The talk of the Inland Empire. Listen to previous shows.
Get up to $25 when you plant shade trees in Riverside.