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Jun 26, 2007 01:39 PM

where's my water?

I just found out that apparently it is against the law for a server in California to bring you a glass of water without your asking. I find this a little bizzar. I know that it is a way to conserve water, but until last night thought it was a sign of bad service

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  1. Who told you that? There is no such California state law.

    "Don't believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear" - Lou Reed

    3 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes

      My girlfriend who has been a server at a few of the Patina restaurants in LA, some restaurants in Monterey, as well as Chantrell in NYC

      1. re: eberhard49

        Looking at the PUC regulations below, it looks like a water utility MAY implement mandatory rationing (including the restriction you mentioned) when there's a water shortage. That's a lot different than a state law imposing those restrictions.

        1. re: alanbarnes

          I don't think anyone said there is a California state law; and I believe there is no such requirement in the state statutes nor codes.
          The PUC document I linked to are not regulations. It's a guidance document. I think various local water authorities (I'll just call them that generally, since in Calif, our water is governed by a tangled myriad of entities) have adopted that water conservation measure about not serving tap water unless requested. As such, the area over which the water authority has jurisdiction must abide by that water authority's decision.

    2. I don't know about California but I know it's the rule in Santa Fe where drought is a perennial problem. I've seen several menus in various parts of the country that say that water is served upon request.

      1. I would like a cite or reference please.

        I have lived in CA for a long time, in the 70s many restaurants were asked by their water districts/local governments to stop serving water unless it is requested due a drought.

        1. Santa Monica and many other places have put into effect conservation rules/laws, whatever, we live in a dessert and except for El Nino 2 or 3 winters ago, we are in a drought. We need to conserve, if you want water ask, I have friends that if a server asks they say bring it for everybody and half the waters go untouched. The restaurant wastes water, they waste labor, they waste soap and run the risk of breakage and the use their diswashing machines more. Who pays for this, we do in higher prices. My grandfather installed kitchens for many chains in the 50's 60's and 70's and he would always point out stuff like this to me, now I get it. Please conserve and if they do not bring you water, just ask and do not think of it as a sign of bad service.

          1. If it is true. I don't see it as bad service. Do you really drink the water they brought? I know more than half of the time I don't. If you want one, ask for it. We have water shortage!