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Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

The Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO) is a statewide water conservation law for new and renovated landscapes. 

The ordinance applies to any single-family or multi-family residential, public, institutional or commercial project that requires a permit, plan check or design review from the local reviewing agency and meets one of these size thresholds: 

  • New construction projects with a total landscape area greater than 500 square feet
  • Rehabilitations of existing landscape with a total landscape area greater than 2,500 square feet

Some landscapes, such as arboretums and registered historical sites, are exempt from WELO. Check the ordinance for details

WELO sets minimum water efficiency requirements for landscapes. To go above and beyond the state ordinance, make your landscape a ReScape Rated Landscape

Landscape Professionals: The Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance is enforced by cities, counties, and in some areas, water agencies. Before starting your project, check with the local reviewing agency for requirements and submittals specific to your region, which may be different than what's provided in StopWaste's WELO Tool Kit.

Water Conservation News

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) recognized StopWaste as one of four inaugural WaterSmart Partners at a ceremony on March 12, 2019. StopWaste previously received WaterSmart designation in 2011 for on-site water-saving practices. The Partnership designation is new for WaterSmart, and EBMUD recognized StopWaste for its long-standing partnership with the utility, and for programs that have contributed to water savings, such as trainings and resources for landscape professionals...