The City Council unanimously passed a water conservation ordinance this week that gives the city power to enact mandatory restrictions if the drought continues.
The ordinance allows the council to impose three phases of conservation, ranging from a lawn-watering ban to a 20% cutback in use per household, said Lee Harry, the city's water resource manager.
The ordinance, however, is strictly for emergencies, Harry said.
Mayor Daniel H. Young said he hopes that the ordinance will increase awareness of the shortage and encourage residents to conserve voluntarily.
"This puts people on notice that we'll either have to conserve water or we'll have to look at more drastic measures," Young said.
Santa Ana receives 70% of its supply from local ground water and 30% from the Metropolitan Water District.
Although the city did not have its supply cut for 1990, officials estimated that a continuing drought would almost certainly result in a reduction in the supply of both local ground water and imported water in 1991.
California is in its fourth consecutive year of drought. In September, 1988, Santa Ana approved a voluntary conservation plan that included time restrictions on watering and using recycled water for fountains.