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DWR Holding Public Meetings on Draft Model Landscape Ordinance on June 16 and 19

Projected to Cut Water Use by 30 Percent or More on New Landscapes for Homes and Businesses

June 15, 2015
New California yards and commercial landscaping would use far less water under the rules of a model landscape ordinance updated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown.
 
The updated draft rules would prohibit installation of turf unless it is used for a specific function such as sports fields or gathering areas, require the installation of efficient sprinkler nozzles, ban turf in street medians and parkways with few exceptions and require use of compost to improve the water-holding capacity of soil.
 
DWR’s draft revisions to the landscape ordinance are expected to reduce the water use of a new home by 16,000 gallons a year, or 30 percent.  Water use on new commercial landscapes would be cut by approximately 40 percent under the draft rules proposed by DWR.
 
California is expected to add 472,000 single- and multi-family housing units with an associated 20,000 acres of new landscape over the next three years. The state’s population is expected to grow by more than 11 million, reaching nearly 50 million people by 2050. New landscape standards are critical to ensure that new plantings are as efficient as possible.
 
In an April 1 executive order, the Governor directed DWR to update its State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance in order to help California cope with a fourth year of extreme drought and build resiliency for future droughts.
 
State law requires all land-use agencies, such as cities and counties, to adopt a water-efficient landscape ordinance that is at least as efficient as the model ordinance prepared by DWR. DWR’s model ordinance takes effect in those cities and counties that fail to adopt their own.
 
The draft revisions to the model ordinance reduce the size threshold for landscapes subject to the ordinance to 500 square feet for both commercial and residential property. Land-use agencies also would be required to report on ordinance adoption and enforcement each year.
 
Public Comment
 
DWR is hosting two public meetings to solicit public comment on the draft revisions to the model ordinance. Comments are due by June 26 and can be either made in person or emailed to julie.saare-edmonds@water.ca.gov. Meeting details are below.
 
June 16, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Click here to join the meeting.
Call-in toll-free number: 1-877-952-3588. Attendee access code: 590 225 6.
 
June 19, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Resources Building Auditorium
1416 9th Street, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Click here to join the meeting.
Call-in toll-free number: 1-877-952-3588. Attendee access code: 590 225 6.
 
E-mail comments to julie.saare-edmonds@water.ca.gov.


 
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