Valley Water bans watering commercial, industrial and institutional lawns

State extends ban on watering decorative grass

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) readopted an emergency regulation last week that bans the use of drinking water for watering decorative grass (non-functional turf) in commercial, industrial and institutional areas throughout California.

The regulation specifically bans watering non-functional turf, which generally is mowed grass that is not used for recreational or other community activities, at commercial, industrial and institutional properties. This applies to areas like grass in front of or next to large commercial buildings, and some common areas managed by homeowners’ associations.

“We all have a shared responsibility to continue to limit non-essential outdoor water use while the state grapples with extreme weather and plans for possible dry conditions this summer and into the next wet season,” said Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “This readopted regulation will help us continue to protect California’s water resources in hotter, drier conditions.”

The regulation was initially adopted by the board in May 2022 and went into effect in June 2022. Once approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of State, the extension of the ban will go into effect for one additional year.

The ban does not affect or prohibit watering residential lawns or trees.

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