Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

Posted on May 8, 2018 in ,

Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

In 2015, in compliance with Executive Order No. B-29-15, the State of California Department of Water Resources updated the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) which requires irrigation efficiency in landscaping.  All projects requiring a building permit, design review, or plan check are reviewed for applicability of this ordinance.  The MWELO applies to the following projects:

  1. Construction projects with 500 square feet or more of new landscape area, and which require a building permit, plan check or design review; or,
  2. Rehabilitated landscapes of 2,500 square feet or more, and which require a building permit, plan check or design review.

New landscape areas for residential and non-residential projects between 500 and 2,499 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review may comply with the ordinance utilizing the Prescriptive Compliance Option, available here:

Rehabilitated landscapes of 2,500 square feet or greater shall comply with the Performance Compliance Option, available here:

Available Resources:

  1. The full text of the MWELO can be found in Sections 490-495 in Chapter 2.7 of Division 2 of Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations: https://www.water.ca.gov/LegacyFiles/wateruseefficiency/landscapeordinance/docs/Title%2023%20extract%20-%20Official%20CCR%20pages.pdf
  2. Also available for reference is the April 23, 2018 PowerPoint presentation to City Council: Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance PowerPoint Presentation
  3. Water Saving Programs for Residents and Businesses via the Pasadena Department of Water and Power: https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/water-and-power/savewater/



For questions regarding Pasadena’s implementation of the MWELO, please call the Planner of the Day at (626) 744-6777.