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Hospitality Law Alert: Restaurants and Hotels on Mandatory Water Restriction

March 19, 2015 | Christine H. Long
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On March 17, 2015 the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted and extended a set of emergency water conservation regulations. The regulations include a penalty to restaurants serving water to patrons unless it has been specifically requested.

The Office of Administrative Law has 10 days to approve or deny the new regulations adopted by the State Water Board. If approved, the regulations will go into effect immediately. Any restaurant having found to have violated the regulation will be charged with an infraction, which carries a fine of up to $500 for each day in which the violation occurs.

It is recommended that establishments put out signage that advises of the new rule.

Regulation in a Nutshell

  • Restaurants and other foodservice establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
  • Operators of hotels/motels must provide guests the option not to have towels and linens laundered daily. Such option must be prominently displayed in the room or venue.

All Californians including Business Owners are prohibited from:

  • Washing down sidewalks and driveways
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff
  • Washing a motor vehicle with a hose, unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle
  • Operating a water feature, unless the water is part of a recirculating system
  • Irrigating turf or ornamental landscapes following 48 hours of precipitation

If you have questions about how this development impacts your business, please contact Christine H. Long, (408) 286-5800,

©2015 Berliner Cohen. This article is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice or a solicitation for the formation of an attorney-client relationship and no attorney-client relationship is created through your use of the Berliner Site or your receipt of the materials.