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June 13, 2024 6:39PM
June 13, 2024 18:39PM

customer care

Commercial Landscape Restrictions

How lawn watering restrictions affect IRWD’s commercial customers, and how IRWD can help

A new state-mandated drought regulation, which took effect June 10, bans the use of drinking water to irrigate nonfunctional turf grass at commercial, industrial, and institutional properties throughout the state.

The good news is almost all of the public and commercial landscape in the Irvine Ranch Water District service area — including medians, college campuses, business complexes, and homeowners association properties — is irrigated with recycled water. Recycled water is droughtproof and not subject to the restriction. So our communities will remain green and beautiful.

Also, the watering ban does NOT apply to lawns on residential property or turf used for human recreation. That means where recycled water is not available, drinking water still can be used on school fields, sports fields, and areas regularly used for civic or community events. And residential customers can still water their yards.

How IRWD can help commercial customers

  • APPLY FOR A REBATE. IRWD offers rebates to help you replace your turf and use a lot less water on your landscape:
    • Turf removal. There’s never been a better time to reinvent your landscape to save water, because our rebates for lawn removal are higher than ever — up to $5 per square foot for removing turf that is irrigated with drinking water. The offer is good for up to 50,000 square feet for commercial properties — offering the potential for tens of thousands of dollars to help replace your turf with beautiful, drought-friendly plants you can be proud of. Participation in the $5-per-square-foot program is limited and subject to approval by IRWD, so be sure to submit your application and receive approval before beginning any work. See details here.
    • Drip irrigation. Receive an additional 70 cents per square foot by converting from spray-head irrigation to drip irrigation. See details here.
  • TUNE UP YOUR LANDSCAPE. Watch this space for details about IRWD’s Commercial Landscape Tuneup Program, which will launch soon. As part of that program, IRWD will:
    • Help you identify what turf on your property is “nonfunctional.”
    • Provide expert help to identify leaks and flaws in your irrigation system that might be wasting water.
    • Pay up to 50% of your repair bill.
  • SHOW YOUR PURPLE PRIDE: If your commercial, industrial, or institutional property is irrigated with recycled water, let the world know you are part of the solution. Ask IRWD for a purple sign saying “Irrigated with drought-proof recycled water,” and post it where the public can see. Call the IRWD Communications department at 949-453-5500 or email Use "Recycled water signs" as your email subject line.
  • ASK US FOR HELP. IRWD’s water efficiency specialists are always happy to answer your questions and help you with your specific concerns. Fill out our Water Efficiency Contact form here, or call our water-waste and water-efficiency hotline at 949-453-5581

Where to learn more

  • Read the State Water Board’s FAQ fact sheet for answers to many questions such as:
    • What is the definition of nonfunctional turf?
    • What are the exceptions?
    • What about trees?
    • What about HOAs?
  • Read a summary of the regulation in the State Water Board’s media release.
  • Read the text of the regulation.
  • Keep up to date on IRWD drought news and find water-saving tips at com/drought.