The following answers were provided to the CRA from the State Water Resources Control Board based on some of the most common questions from California restaurant owners.
can restaurant employees ask customers if they would like water?
Restaurant employees can only serve water to customers when they request it. Restaurant employees can explain to customers that California is in a severe drought and to save water they can only serve water when it is requested.
Can a restaurant have a self-serve water station?
Yes, but self-serve water stations could have signage asking people to conserve due to the drought.
Can an employee re-fill a customer's glass?
Yes, if the customer requests it.
Are businesses prohibited from washing down outdoor pavement?
All Californians and California businesses are prohibited from using potable water to wash down sidewalks or driveways, except where necessary to address an immediate health and safety need or to comply with a term or condition in a permit issued by a state or federal agency. Additional restrictions on the use of water to wash hard surfaces may be in place at the local level and the individual restaurant needs to check with their local water supplier to determine the restrictions that are in place locally.
Are businesses with private wells prohibited from washing down pavements?
Yes, businesses are prohibited from using potable water to wash down sidewalks or driveways regardless of water source. As stated above, additional restrictions may be in place at the local level.
Are businesses prohibited from irrigating plants/grass?
All Californians and California businesses are prohibited from watering outside or using potable water during measurable rainfall and for 48 hours following. The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures is also prohibited. Most local water suppliers or municipalities have now imposed restrictions on the days and times that outdoor water is allowed so it is important for restaurant owners to check with their local water supplier to determine the restrictions that are in place locally.