SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Restrictions on California water districts will now be based on summer months to better account for outdoor watering under a plan released by the State Water Resources Control Board on Saturday.

The conservation standard for urban suppliers originally called on water districts to cut back based on September 2014 statistics, and painted a broad swath with four possible tiers of reduction. Under those rules, many Sacramento water districts fell under 35 percent restrictions.

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The new rules will now be based on the months of July, August and September, a dry time of the year when most outdoor watering happens. The number of tiers has doubled to eight, ranging anywhere from 8 percent to 36 percent in cuts.

The conservation rules are an effort to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory 25 percent cut in water use as California enters its fourth year of a drought. Since 2011, many regions of the state are at a rainfall deficit of more than one year’s worth of water, with some going above two years.

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Under this plan, there are no reduction targets in place for commercial users. Instead, each supplier will be encouraged to work with businesses and look for possible irrigation savings.

The draft rules also would prohibit watering ornamental turf on street medians.

The public comment period on the draft runs through Wednesday. Comments can be sent to

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