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State Water Board Bans Watering “Non-Functional” Turf With Potable Water

Effective June 10, 2022, the State Water Board has implemented a statewide ban on watering “non-functional turf” in commercial, industrial, institutional areas with potable water. This does not include house yards, parks, or sports fields, but it does include decorative turf at businesses and in common areas of HOAs and housing subdivisions. Non-functional turf is grass that is solely ornamental and not regularly used for human recreational purposes or for civic or community events.

Why is this happening?

The new emergency regulation is mandated by the State Water Board in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 28 Executive Order and aims to improve the state’s water conservation efforts amid the third year of drought. The emergency regulation will remain in effect for one year, unless modified by the State Water Board.

Learn more about the ban by visiting

What do customers need to do to comply?

Owners and managers of commercial, industrial, institutional, and HOA properties must not use potable water for irrigating non-functional turf. If you have questions about conservation and replacing your turf, please contact our Conservation Specialists by clicking on your district listed above.

The enforcement of this ban will be led by the State Water Resources Control Board, although California American Water does send courtesy notices to customers if there are reports of a potential violation. California American Water is permitted to enforce fines should customers not comply, however we are committed to education over enforcement whenever possible.

Key Links

Shape Your Space

Part 1: Concepts for Landscape Design

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Part 2: Functional Design Solutions


Lose The Lawn, Use the Rain

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Water-wise Actions/Fire Smart Garden

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Detain the Rain


Get Your Garden Humming


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