Non-Functional Turf Watering Ban

On June 10, 2022, the state of California and the State Water Resources Control Board issued an emergency regulation that prohibits the watering of non-functional turf areas at commercial, industrial, and institutional sites with potable water. The regulation was issued in response to the drought to expand existing water conservation efforts. On September 13, 2022, the Valley Water Board of Directors amended their water waste enforcement ordinance to include the non-functional turf watering ban. On June 13, 2023, the Valley Water Board of Directors adopted an ordinance, which included the non-functional turf watering ban as a permanent water waste prohibition

Non-functional turf, as defined by the state, is lawn that is dedicated solely for ornamental or decorative purposes, and does not serve recreational purpose for humans. This emergency regulation currently applies to non-functional turf areas located at commercial, industrial, or institutional sites. Examples of non-functional turf areas include:

  • Streetscape turf along sidewalks, parking lots, and frontage areas
  • Turf in roadway medians
  • Turf in medians within roundabouts

According to the State Water Board, the following properties are considered commercial, industrial, or institutional (CII):

  • Homeowners’ Association-owned properties
  • Manufacturing plants and facilities
  • Industrial and commercial construction sites
  • Retail and shopping malls
  • Hospitals
  • Religious institutions
  • Government facilities (including parks)
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Educational institutions
  • Sporting arenas
  • Office buildings
  • and other properties that provide commercial, industrial, and institutional services

If you have questions or concerns regarding the non-functional turf watering ban, please feel free to reach out to our Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 586-2666 or email us at