Water restrictions for City of Bishop

Starting again Wednesday, April 1st , outdoor irrigation in the City of Bishop will only be allowed between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am. This state-mandated restriction had been relaxed during the cold winter weather because of safety concerns related to freezing.


Because of the drought, the State of California required that the City of Bishop implement water conservation measures last summer. The measures are intended to achieve the state-required 20% reduction in water use by city water customers. The city had to implement the measures to avoid $10,000 per day fines.

The city’s state-mandated water conservation measures are:
– No outdoor irrigation except between 5 pm and 9 am
– No irrigation of outdoor landscaping so that water runs off property
– No washing vehicles unless hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle
– No washing driveways, sidewalks, and parking areas
– No decorative water features unless there is recirculation
– No water waste caused by easily correctable leaks, breaks, or malfunctions
– No use of potable water for construction purposes
– No hydrant flushing except when required for public health and safety.

The city may allow exceptions to some of these measures in some cases. The city has a standing water conservation incentive program available to help its water customers save water. The program provides free hose nozzles, hose timers, and
irrigation system timers and provides rebates for some sprinkler systems and water conserving appliances. The incentives are available only to water customers of the City of Bishop and are limited to one per customer account.

Also, quantities of the free items are limited. The free hose nozzles, hose timers, and irrigation system timers are available at the
City of Bishop Public Works Office. To receive these items, come in, fill out an application, and pick one up while supplies last.
Rebates are available for installing water saving sprinkler systems and for eligible upgrades to clothes washers, dish washers, and toilets.

To receive a rebate, fill out an application, have your old and new item verified by city staff, and get a check. More
information and applications are available on the city website or from City of Bishop Public Works.

Also remember that landscaping needs less water now than in the heat of the summer. Taylor your watering to the needs of the plants and lawn to avoid overwatering. Saving water saves money, reduces water rates, protects groundwater, is the right thing
to do, and is now required by the state. Contact the City of Bishop Department of Public Works at 873-8458 for more information on water conservation and the City’s water system.

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16 Responses to Water restrictions for City of Bishop

  1. Local April 3, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    I was just at Vons in Bishop last night and the sprinklers were on, one was broken and GUSHING water all over the place, and the end sprinklers were watering the sidewalks, while a steady stream of left over water flowed down the street. This was after waiting in line for 10 minutes because, for the second time in a row only one checkout lane was open, but that is another story.

  2. Philip Anaya April 2, 2015 at 6:17 am #

    Everyone has to be concerned with the water table in this 4th record drought year. Every time I turn on the tap I am hoping for some flow. A 150 year old Black Oak grows in the front yard and I hope that it’s roots are in soil water and I soon see leaves sprouting from the branches . Now more than ever the Aquifer of the Bishop Cone needs to be monitored and protected . DWP is restricted in the Bishop Cone to use the water from their extraction wells on the lands that they own and lease to Ranchers . The export of water from the Bishop Cone is not supposed to occur. The free flow wells that drain directly into the adjacent Owens River need to be metered as are all the Lease Holders water not just estimated by the flows over the primitive weirs . The annual Bishop Cone Audit needs to contain accurate measurements not “expert estimations” .
    The entire State of California is subject to the new restrictions . Now is the time to enforce these restrictions and apply statewide the education of the importance of water beyond just turning on the tap. Doing the right thing is also for each of us who are aware of the importance of water, in the Eastern Sierra after the double impact of this drought and the DWP operations, is to do our part in conserving this invaluable resource . Belly aching and taking a hard stance in attitude and bloviating toward these restrictions and the DWP isn’t going to save our water table . Now is the time to show up at some Inyo /DWP water meetings and work to maintain the Bishop Cone Aquifer and the Hillside Decree. The devil is not the DWP . The devil is in the details of the solutions and survival to this drought . BTW how are the negotiations and the solutions for the LORP doing

    • Sierra Lady April 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

      ^ Very well written, Phillip A. In the end, it is up to all of us.

      There is a very good water conservation list on the Mammoth Community Water District website. We printed it and marked all the ways we already save and will do whatever more we can do to continue to save water.


      B. Richter

  3. sugarmagnolia April 1, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    so that’s it??? Drought of historic proportions and that’s the only restriction? That is NOTHING.
    They should at least only allow outside watering only every other day…hand watering of a garden as an exception as usual. How about no new water intensive landscaping allowed.

    These restriction are almost meaningless.

    • Low-Inyo April 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

      Sugar Magnolia; But how would “they”,the “authorities” enforce such rules…drive around at midnight checking on who and when someone is watering, when they last did it,and if it’s too much? Or be telling people what and what not to plant ? Let’s face it..The rich people,mainly those in So Cal,but also those here in Inyo County,they will continue to water when they want,and plant whatever they want to plant in their yards,restrictions or not.The people that will suffer the most,the ones with the dead lawns and gardens, are the middle class and low middle class,when their water-bills arrive every two months.

  4. NO H20 April 1, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Yes Bishop please conserve tons of water.
    The home builders in Southern California need tons of water for all their new water meters.
    Not to mention the millions of gallons Caltrans waste by watering the sides of the freeways.
    No shortage in so. Cal

  5. Trouble April 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    Sierra Lady- our run off goes strait back into the river. And then is stolen by DWP and sold to the 6 million people living in a sees- pool down south. DWP would steal it for you to if they could figure out how to make it flow up hill for free. Did you read the part about how we had no restrictions?

  6. Low-Inyo April 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m guessing it’s a good idea to conserve water these days,but while I watch my lawn and garden turn brown and die,I’ll have trouble when I see the golf courses and lawns of the multi-millionaires down in Sou Cal still all green and healthy.Or when I think of what happened a few weeks ago down there,when LADWP was draining a reservoir and while many of the employees were standing around holding their shovels up watching the thousands of gallons of water were emptying into the storm drains and sewers.

    • JaneE April 3, 2015 at 6:33 am #

      At least some of the golf courses and freeway landscaping are using reclaimed water – because the people wouldn’t tolerate toilet-to-tap in the regular water system. Look for anything with purple plumbing and the water is considered non-potable. Now that a separate system of water mains has been built, and the state is in an extreme drought, people may decide to drink reclaimed water, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  7. Sierra Lady March 31, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    I am glad to see this restriction and let’s hope all residents honor it.

    When I was down in Bishop a week ago Monday to pick up a friend for lunch, I was appalled to see several homes in her neighborhood with their sprinklers on in the middle of the day. Much of the water was running down their sidewalks into the gutter. What a waste!

    We made the decision not going to prep, tend or water either of our two tiny perennial gardens here in Mammoth nor buy, plant or water any annual flowers for our pots and flower boxes. We’ve been water conservationists for years, but this is just one more way of helping the effort.

    B. Richter

    • Alan April 1, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

      I look forward to Mammoth Mountain cutting its snow-making by 25%. They freeze our precious water it and spray it all over the mountain so people from LA and Orange Counties can travel hundreds of miles to slide down it.

      What a waste!

      • Ken Warner April 2, 2015 at 10:07 am #

        Can’t say for sure but I think that MMSA collects melt water in ponds then uses that for snowmaking the next year.

        I wonder it there isn’t much snow, will they still be able to collect enough water for snow making the next year

        • Roger April 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

          Ken, I do know for sure, and the water in the snowmaking ponds is not snowmelt. It is water pumped from wells and put into a pond because when snowmaking is taking place, the pumps can’t keep up with the required volume. Additionally, it is my understanding that the level in the wells has declined about 2/3 from when they were first used.
          Another interesting question to think about is -what will be found for snowmaking water at June Mt., and what impact will that have on June’s water supply?

          • Ken Warner April 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

            Roger: Thanks for that. I had no idea that water was pumped from their water table. That must cost some good money. The future of skiing in Mammoth is not bright.

    • Ken Warner April 2, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      SL: good. I’ve always thought that lawns and other urban greenery seems out of place up here. Ordinary native growth and just plain duff looks fine to me.

  8. chris March 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Thanks for publishing this article. Would you please do the same for “Bishop residents” who don’t live in the City Limits but in the County (i.e. McLaren, Shepard Ln., etc.)?


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