Tri-Valley Water Agencies Encourage Local Business Community to Reimagine Its Landscaping

A statewide ban on irrigating non-functional turf at non-residential properties is now in effect.

News Release

Tri-Valley, CA (June 20, 2022). On June 10, 2022, the California State Water Resources Control Board enacted a new emergency water conservation regulation banning all commercial, institutional, and industrial properties statewide from irrigating “non-functional” turf with potable (drinking) water. Non-functional turf is any grass that is purely decorative and is not used for recreation or civic/community events.

This new regulation affects non-residential properties such as offices, retail stores, hotels, places of worship, and non-profit organizations. Turf that has a functional purpose or is irrigated with recycled water can still be watered.

The Tri-Valley’s water agencies are here to help.

“Climate change will make droughts more frequent and severe in the future. The Tri-Valley’s water agencies are encouraging their non-residential property owners to consider replacing their non-functional turf with low-water landscaping during this fall’s planting season. Not only will it improve your property’s appearance during our current drought, but it will permanently lower your water use,” explained City of Livermore Interim Water Resources Manager Anthony Smith.

Non-residential property owners should work with their landscaping professionals to turn off any irrigation stations that are dedicated to non-functional turf. If non-functional turf and trees are irrigated by the same station, cap the sprinklers that irrigate the lawn areas. Trees take decades to replace and should still be irrigated during droughts.

While non-functional turf yellows this summer, property owners can apply for a rebate to reimburse some of the cost of installing new low-water landscaping in the fall. Visit your water service provider’s link below for program details.

“We are nearly halfway through the third year of this unprecedented drought and unfortunately, we are seeing water usage increase, rather than decrease. If we are going to successfully weather this drought, we need all hands-on deck — residents and businesses alike must do all they can to conserve water. We are confident that the business community will step up to meet this new call to action and help our community towards a more sustainable future,” said Zone 7 General Manger Valerie Pryor. “And in return, we are here to support businesses interested in replacing turf with native plants and other low-water-use landscaping with rebate programs and technical expertise.” 

All other potable irrigation limited to three days a week

In addition to the irrigation ban for non-functional turf, potable water irrigation restrictions are in place for all other types of landscaping at Tri-Valley non-residential properties. Water use rules limit outdoor irrigation to no more than three days a week, and irrigation should occur in the evening or early morning to minimize evaporation.

Last September, Zone 7 Water Agency declared a Drought Emergency and Stage 2 Water Shortage Emergency. This declaration, still in effect — included mandatory 15% water conservation from all Tri-Valley water service providers. For the latest information on local water use restrictions, visit

About Tri-Valley’s Water Agencies

Zone 7 Water Agency treats and manages water supplies for eastern Alameda County, including the city limits of Livermore, Pleasanton, and Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon. Drinking water service is provided to these regions by the Tri-Valley’s water retailers – Cal Water, the Cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, and DSRSD.