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Jess Loya shows off the drip irrigation system he had installed at his home in Fremont, Calif., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Even with recent rains, the Alameda County Water District may declare a water shortage emergency and begin restricting residents' landscaping water use. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

FREMONT -- An emergency water shortage has been declared in the Tri-City area with mandatory limits on landscape irrigation.

The ordinance immediately took effect Thursday night when the Alameda County Water District board approved the action, agency spokesman Frank Jahn said.

It bans residents and businesses from irrigating lawns and other landscaped areas on consecutive days. Landscape watering will be permitted just one day a week from April 1 to May 31 and from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30; and two days a week from June 1 to Sept. 30. From Dec. 1 to March 31, irrigation is limited to one day per week and banned on rainy days.

Tri-City school districts and cities receive an extra day per week from June 1 to Nov. 30 to irrigate public parks, school grounds, playing fields and day care center landscaping.

Repeated violations of the new limits could result in serious punishment -- termination of water service and a misdemeanor citation that could lead to a 30-day jail sentence and a $600 fine.

Formed in 1914, the Alameda County Water District supplies water to 336,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.



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