The Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO)


  • The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released an updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO) to assist local governments in reducing water waste in landscapes.

  • California Assembly Bill 1881 (AB 1881), signed into law in 2006, modifies and strengthens the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act of 1990.  A key provision required the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to update the original Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (AB325) which was adopted in 1992.

Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

  • Landscaping Can and Will Change

  • WELO Became Effective January 1st 2010

  • Affects New Landscapes – Commercial @ 2500 sq.ft and Residential @ 5000 sq.ft.

  • All Municipalities Must adopt or one of Their Own That is at Least as Effective

  • Landscape Water WILL Be Managed to a Water Budget

The Model Ordinance Requires Landscape Water Conservation   

  • It sets a specific water budget for affected new landscapes based on local weather conditions and square footage 

  • The ordinance requires state of the art water conservation from beginning to end including: design, technology, installation and maintenance

  • It does not ban plants or dictate landscape style

  • To comply contractors and architects will need to learn more about water efficient landscaping


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