Even residents who live next to one of the world's deepest lakes must conserve water this summer.
Mandatory lawn watering restrictions for 17,000 Lake Tahoe customers were imposed last week by the South Tahoe Public Utility District.
South shore residents who live at even-numbered addresses can only water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those who live at odd-numbered addresses must limit watering to Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
The restrictions will be enforced by a district water educator. Violators will receive a warning before they get a ticket.
"Tahoe people are famous for over-watering,"district spokesman Dennis Cocking told the Tahoe Daily Tribune."You don't need to water for more than 15 minutes, but everybody believes you've got to give a good soak. Tahoe soils just don't hold water very well."
Cocking said the district has increased its supply by 1.2 million gallons a day, but still is feeling the squeeze of higher demand because of new landscaping for redevelopment.
"Whatever additional supply we're getting is being equally paced by the amount of growth in landscaping,"he said."So the net additional water product is jut about nil."
The district hopes the restrictions will save about 25 percent of the 12 million gallons a day it provides at peak demand.
The district is banning lawn watering on Saturdays in hopes of saving water for any wildfire.
"The chance of a fire occurring is increased on the weekends when more people are in town,"Cocking said.
The district increased its water supplies by 1.2 million gallons a day when a new well went into operation last month.
"July 4th is going to be our big hit (because of tourists) ... That's why we're getting the control in before then,"said Nick Zaninovich, a district engineer.
Resident Dale Herman said the restrictions mean he no longer will be able to water his lawn on Sundays as usual.
"I can live with it,"said Herman, a retired accountant who moved from Orange County three years ago.