The City Council this week approved the first draft of an emergency water-conservation ordinance that could result in rationing if voluntary measures are not effective.
Residents and business owners have been asked to cut water use by 10% voluntarily. If that cut is not achieved, the ordinance calls for the first of five phases of restrictions to begin.
Curbs under the first phase would include a ban on hosing down driveways, sidewalks, parking lots or other paved surfaces; restrictions on vehicle washing, and not serving water at restaurants unless it is requested.
Water guidelines for the next four phases for single- and multifamily homes would include rationing. As a result, the City Council also approved in its Tuesday meeting spending $10,000 to modify computer software for preparing customers' bills, in the event that rationing is instituted.
"Fullerton is on the cutting edge in its water conservation plan," City Councilman A.B. (Buck) Catlin said. "Some cities have been reacting to water rationing. Fullerton has been planning."
California's fifth consecutive year of drought has led many county cities to impose rationing. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors ordered a 20% reduction in county government water use.
Final approval of Fullerton's water ordinance is expected in two weeks, at the next council meeting. The plan would take effect 30 days after final approval.