Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Watering Ban
The State of California has banned the watering of decorative (non-functional) grass by commercial, industrial and institutional (CII) properties, including homeowners' associations. The watering of decorative CII lawns is now subject to fines under a new Valley Water ordinance. The regulation does not apply to residential lawns, school fields, sports fields, or areas regularly used for civic or community events, as noted in Valley Water’s definitions of functional and non-functional turf.
According to the State Water Board, ending irrigation of non-functional grass will save the equivalent of water used by as many as 780,000 households every year. The regulation does not restrict the watering of non-turf plantings or trees, which are important for shade and cooling as the state experiences more extreme heat events.
CII properties that receive potable water supplied or managed by Valley Water either directly or indirectly by a Water Retailer shall:
- Not apply water to non-functional turf at commercial, industrial and institutional sites, including homeowners' associations.
- Not apply water to any outdoor landscape in a manner that causes runoff.
- Not apply potable water to any outdoor landscape during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
- Not irrigate any outdoor landscape between the hours of 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Trees and other perennial plantings
Potable water can be applied directly under the canopy of trees and shrubs within non-functional turf areas or to the extent necessary to address immediate health and safety, sanitation or fire protection needs as determined by the fire marshal.
Valley Water invites our CII community to take advantage of our new lawn-to-mulch rebate to quickly adapt lawns to follow the ban on irrigating non-functional turf while still looking great. Other ways to cost-effectively help out during the drought:
- Landscape Rebate Program
- Receive up to $100,000 to convert lawn to mulch or climate-appropriate plants, install rainwater capture projects, and upgrade irrigation equipment
- Large landscape outdoor surveys
- Free help to identify maintenance priorities and upgrade opportunities
- Water Efficient Technology rebate
- Receive up to $100,000 to upgrade process equipment to conserve water
Report water waste
Community members can report incidents of water waste to Valley Water. We will strive to educate property owners reported for violations of water waste prohibitions to encourage water conservation and to prevent water waste. In addition, if the property is supplied potable water by a Water Retailer, Valley Water will notify the Water Retailer of each complaint and allow the retailer to pursue its enforcement process.
To submit a report online you can visit Access.valleywater.org, email [email protected] or call 408-630-2000. Reports can be submitted anonymously.
NOTE: Please include photos, cross-streets, and landmarks with water waste reports whenever possible.