SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) passed new emergency outdoor irrigation restrictions for all of its retail customers, which feature a mandate to reduce potable water use by 10 percent for outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscape and turf, according to a press release.

The new regulations take effect mid-September through June 30, 2015, and only water customers that have metered irrigation accounts will be issued a usage allocation based on a 10 percent reduction of their 2013 usage, stated the release.

At SFPUC’s next meeting, commissioners will consider an excess use charge of two times the billing rate for every unit in excess of a customer’s allocation, and SFPUC is asking all of its retail customers to comply, continued the release.

An education-first plan to reduce wasteful outdoor water use by prohibiting certain water-wasting activities will also be implemented and include: Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff; using drinking water in non-recirculating fountains or decorative water devices; using a hose without a shut-off nozzle, for any purpose; and washing down driveways/sidewalks except for health and safety purposes, reported the release.

"We don't know when this drought will end," said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly Jr. "The mandatory outdoor irrigation reduction is a small, but important step as we continue conserving and diversifying our precious water supplies."

You can find the entire release here.