On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1928 into law. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Nora Campos and sponsored by Santa Clara Valley Water District, will ensure efficiency standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment are established by Jan. 1, 2019 to help consumers continue to conserve water.

Chair Barbara Keegan stated, “The Santa Clara Valley Water District is proud to have sponsored legislation that will provide long-term permanent solutions to protecting not only Silicon Valley’s water supply, but the entire state of California.  Thank you to the governor, Assemblymember Campos, and the state Legislature for recognizing how important it is to establish irrigation equipment standards for California.”

Assemblymember Campos said “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have created and approved strict water efficiency standards for indoor water fixtures and appliances.  However, there has been no standard or labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment, despite the fact that landscaper irrigation comprises about half of residential water use.”

As a state, we’ve become more water conscious and have made huge strides with indoor conservation efforts. However, 50 percent of residential water use takes place outdoors; having water efficient gardens and landscapes will translate into significant water savings. AB 1928 will help California take the next and long overdue steps in recommitting ourselves to improving outdoor water efficiency.

According to the State Assembly’s analysis of the bill, technology in landscape irrigation has advanced in recent years with numerous new efficient irrigation controls and moisture sensing devices coming to the market. Consumers appear to be responding to these conditions as it has been reported that one of the largest areas of sales growth at home improvement stores has been efficient landscape irrigation equipment.

8 comments

  1. A link to more information about these new irrigation efficiency standards would be helpful. What measures and irrigation equipment are available today for residents to meet the standards? What are the standards?

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    1. Bill Text
      PDF Version:
      AB-1928 Water efficiency: landscape irrigation equipment.(2015-2016)
      Bill Start

      Assembly Bill No. 1928
      CHAPTER 326

      An act to amend Section 25401.9 of the Public Resources Code, relating to water.

      [ Approved by Governor September 13, 2016. Filed with Secretary of State September 13, 2016. ]

      LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

      AB 1928, Campos. Water efficiency: landscape irrigation equipment.
      Existing law requires, to the extent that funds are available, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources, to adopt, by January 1, 2010, performance standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment and, on or after January 1, 2012, prohibits that equipment from being sold unless it meets the performance standards and labeling requirements.
      This bill would postpone the date by which the commission is to adopt the performance standards and labeling requirements to January 1, 2019, and would prohibit the sale or the offer for sale of that equipment manufactured on or after the effective date of the performance standards and labeling requirements unless the equipment meets the performance standards and labeling requirements and is certified by the manufacturer as meeting the performance standards. The bill would additionally require the commission, in adopting those standards and requirements, to consider developments in landscape irrigation efficiency occurring on or after January 1, 2010.
      Digest Key
      Vote: MAJORITY Appropriation: NO Fiscal Committee: YES Local Program: NO
      Bill Text
      The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

      SECTION 1. Section 25401.9 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

      25401.9. (a) Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 25402, to the extent that funds are available, the commission, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources and in consideration of developments in landscape irrigation efficiency occurring on or after January 1, 2010, shall adopt by regulation, performance standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment, including, but not limited to, irrigation controllers, moisture sensors, emission devices, and valves.
      (b) For the purposes of complying with subdivision (a), the commission shall do both of the following:
      (1) Adopt performance standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment on or before January 1, 2019.
      (2) Consider the Irrigation Association’s Smart Water Application Technology Program testing protocols when adopting performance standards for landscape irrigation equipment, including, but not limited to, irrigation controllers, moisture sensors, emission devices, and valves.
      (c) No new irrigation equipment for landscape irrigation uses that is manufactured on or after the effective date of the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be sold or offered for sale in the state unless the irrigation equipment meets the performance standards and labeling requirements established pursuant to this section and is certified by the manufacturer as in compliance with those standards.

      leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1928

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    2. The new standards will be developed over the next few years and will be determined by Jan. 1, 2019. Efficiency standards have been available for indoor equipment for decades, but there haven’t been any official standards for outdoor irrigation, which is why the bill was a big step forward for long-term water conservation.

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  2. It would be helpful if the water district repeatedly reminded customers (in a very clear and obvious way) how and when to water. I so often see yards being spray-watered well after the sun is up in the morning. Plus excess water running down the curb side.

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  3. So now that the drought is over, why will the restrictions be in place?
    Will we have our expensive water bills reduced?
    What is San Jose and the state of California doing to Conserve this wonderful rainwater or is it still being routed to the ocean?

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    1. Our Board has passed a resolution, maintaining a water savings target of 20% compared to 2013 water use.
      Here’s a link to our news release: http://valleywater.org/EkContent.aspx?id=15017

      By maintaining a water savings target, we are encouraging residents and businesses to continue the water efficient behaviors they have adopted over the last few years. Water conservation should be a way of life in California, even during a wet year. We never know when the next dry spell will start.

      Check with your local water provider on how your water bills may be reduced. We understand that some water retailers are no longer imposing a drought surcharge for using more than a certain allotment of water.

      Regarding rainwater, much of the rainwater is captured in our ten local reservoirs and throughout the state in many other large reservoirs. But, we certainly do not have enough storage space to capture as much as we would like.

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    2. I fully support the water district’s continued efforts to encourage residents to conserve. If you continue to use water carefully, you should be able to save on your water bill. But the Water District needs to continue infrastructure projects to renew our water system. It’s not reasonable to expect the State and County to provide more water at a lower cost to you. It’s easy to assume during Winter storms that there is plenty of water to around, but it doesn’t work that way. Even if our reservoirs are restocked (By the way, they often don’t let them fill up because of earthquake safety rules) and our water table comes back up, what if there is a shortfall of rain next year and the year after that? Water naturally flows from the hillsides to the Bay and the Ocean – It’s part of the Natural water cycle which support habitat for plants and wildlife which is also important to a healthy ecosystem. If you study how water cycles works you will understand that there is more to it than just collecting all the water you can to the detriment of our valuable natural ecosystems.

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