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SACRAMENTO – A new statewide emergency water conservation regulation that bans using potable (drinkable) water on decorative or non-functional grass at commercial, industrial, and institutional properties went into effect.

The new restrictions are in response to Governor Newsom’s March 28 Executive Order calling for water conservation directives to address California’s new normal of climate extremes.

The regulation’s ban on watering non-functional turf (turf is defined as mowed grass) at commercial, industrial and institutional properties includes areas like the grass in front of or next to large commercial buildings and common areas managed by homeowners’ associations. The ban does not include watering grass used for human recreation or other community activities, watering residential grass or watering trees. The ban also does not prohibit the use of recycled water for irrigating non-functional turf.

There also are new options for addressing water waste. In addition to the State Water Board, agencies that are already authorized to enforce infractions, like water suppliers and local government, are empowered to address violations of this regulation. A violation of the non-functional turf irrigation provision, for example, would be an infraction and subject to a fine of up to $500.

New Statewide Emergency Water Regulations.pdfNew Statewide Emergency Water Regulations FAQ.pdf