Local water efficiency ordinance reports due Jan. 31, 2022

Dec 8, 2021

Municipalities must submit a report on the review and approval of landscape projects every year, even if their ordinance remains unchanged. Cities that have not submitted their 2020 report are encouraged to do so before Jan. 31, 2022.

California cities, counties, and water suppliers with designated authority are required to report on the review and approval of landscape projects to the California Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2022. Such projects are governed by the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, a statewide regulation designed to prevent water from being wasted on irrigated landscapes. Municipalities must submit a report every year, even if their ordinance remains unchanged.

Under state law, cities must ensure compliance on development projects with landscaped areas of 500 square feet or more. This applies to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional projects that require a permit, plan check, or design review. All local agencies must adopt, implement, and enforce the state’s ordinance or a local one that is at least as effective.

The ordinance report asks cities about their enforcement process, the number and type of landscape projects, and local ordinance practices (if relevant). Officials can submit a report via the California Department of Water Resources' reporting portal, WUEdata, which is available along with reporting guidance on the department’s website. Reports are posted immediately once submitted.

Additionally, cities that have yet not submitted their 2020 report are encouraged to do so before Jan. 31, 2022. For more information, contact Senior Environmental Scientist Julie Saare-Edmonds at (916) 902-7262 or welo@water.ca.gov