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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment
Level One Mandatory Use Restrictions

Level One Mandatory Water Use Restrictions

These restrictions are only in effect when a drought emergency is officially declared.Click here for a .pdf version of this page.

Click here for a map of the drought regions

Watering of grass is prohibited:

  • Except to establish and maintain newly seeded and sodded grass areas.
  • Except to maintain athletic fields or golf courses provided a water conservation plan** is in effect.
  • Except wastewater effluent or storm water treatment systems utilizing spray irrigation may apply water in designated areas according to permit conditions.

Use of sprinklers and other automatic watering devices is prohibited for purposes of irrigation, watering of gardens, landscaped areas, trees, shrubs and other outdoor plants. Hand held containers and hoses with automatic shut off may be used for watering such areas.

  • Except for agricultural irrigation for the production of food and fiber, the maintenance of livestock and poultry or the production of nursery stock.
  • Except by means of a drip irrigation system.
  • Except when used by commercial nurseries with a water conservation plan** in place.
  • Except when used by arboretums and public gardens of National, State, or regional significance at the minimum rate necessary to preserve specimens.

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Washing paved surfaces such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas, tennis courts, and patios is prohibited:

  • Except for prewashing in preparation of asphalt street or driveway recoating and sealing.
  • Except at the minimum rate necessary for the maintenance of tennis courts composed of clay or similar materials by means of a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle.
  • Except at the minimum rate necessary for sanitation or public health purposes, such as eating and drinking areas.
  • Except at the minimum rate necessary to maintain effective dust control during the construction of highways and roads.

Use of water for the operation of ornamental fountains, artificial waterfalls, misting machines, and reflecting pools is prohibited:

  • Except for systems that continuously recycle water.

Use of water for non-commercial washing or cleaning of mobile equipment including automobiles, trucks, trailers and boats is prohibited:

  • Except commercial car washes with a water conservation plan** in place.
  • Except cleaning of construction, emergency or public transportation vehicles if necessary to preserve the proper functioning and safe operation of the vehicle.

Serving of tap water in restaurants, clubs, or eating places is prohibited, unless specifically requested by the customer.

**Water Conservation Plan - For purposes of these restrictions, an acceptable water conservation plan is one that achieves a reduction of at least 10 percent in water usage when compared to normal usage during a comparable period. A comparable period is a similar month or quarter during which a user operated at a similar level of activity.

All other residential, business and industrial water users are requested to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 10%.



Related Topics
Water Resource Management 
Water Conservation Homepage
Drought Monitoring and Response Plan
Variances and Exemptions
Enforcement Guidelines for Local Government, Police, and Sheriffs

What Can You Do?
Household Tips
Home Gardener Tips
Business and Industry Tips
Water Auditing

Related Topics

Water Conservation Homepage
Drought Monitoring and Response Plan
Governor's Advisory Committees
11/2000 Recommended Restrictions
Variances and Exemptions
Enforcement Guidelines for Local Government, Police, and Sheriffs

What can you do?

Household Tips
Home Gardener Tips
Business and Industry Tips
Water Auditing