Updated Model Water Efficiency Ordinance - Now Effective

News Release

Updated Model Water Efficiency Ordinance - Now Effective

The City of Palo Alto Development Services department announced today that they will begin enforcing the Updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance for new and rehabilitated landscape projects effective February 1, 2016. The enforcement of this ordinance is in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-29-15, issued April 1, 2015, regarding California’s Drought Emergency.

“Palo Alto residents are committed to water efficiency and sustainability,” said Peter Pirnejad, Director of Development Services. “We look forward to working with the community to implement these updated regulations.”

The 2015 Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance reflects aggressive water use requirements for landscaping projects. This regulation represents an updated version of the 2010 Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. The requirements apply when an applicant submits a building permit that includes a minimum landscape scope of 500 square feet for new landscapes and 2,500 square feet for rehabilitated landscapes.

City departments will be coordinating during the upcoming months to ensure that the regulations are consistent with the Urban Forest Master Plan and the Palo Alto Parks, Trails, Open Space and Recreation Master Plan.

For more information regarding the project submittal procedures, please visit this link provided by the Development Services department. For additional background information regarding the Model Water Ordinance, visit the Department of Water Resources page.


Peter Pirnejad
Director, Development Services Department