SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The California Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to prohibit businesses and institutions from watering their decorative or non-functional grass.
Officials said this means grass or lawns that are not regularly used for recreational or community purposes.
This ban does not apply to the residential sector when addressing the health of trees, perennial plants, or immediate health and safety needs.
Violators can be fined by any agency that can enforce penalties.
Along with the ban, the board also approved a requirement for local water agencies to move into what’s called their Level 2 water Contingency plans, which assumes a water shortage of 20%.
Local agencies set the rules, and they can vary from place to place, which can include cutting down on outdoor water use and incentivizing people to use more efficient appliances.
These rules would need to be in place by the week of June 6.
“To use them as a tool to see if they can work, to see if we can have more tailored approaches and importantly see the outcomes we collectively need to that not just California, but the West faces on usage,” Joaquin Esquivel, Water Board chairman, said.
The vote comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom warned large water districts that if there isn’t significant water conservation this summer more state mandates could be put in place.
Newsom is expected to meet again with local water agencies to discuss progress in the coming months.