In order to protect the State’s limited water resources and increase water conservation in landscaping, the state passed Assembly Bill 1881 in 2006. In response to the bill, the Department of Water Resources adopted the State’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO). In 2015, the ordinance was updated by Governor Jerry Brown to further promote water conservation efforts and increase landscape irrigation efficiency. The MWELO reduces landscape-related water use by promoting water-efficient landscapes, limiting turf, preventing waste water, and incentivizing the use of graywater and recycled water in new construction and rehabilitated projects. More information on the State’s MWELO can be found at the Department of Water Resources’ website.
In order to comply with the State updates, the Municipal Water District of Orange County and the Association of California Cities, formed a stakeholder working group that developed a locally crafted a model regional ordinance that would minimize complexity and the cost of compliance and provide consistency between local jurisdictions. On December 15, 2015, the City of Tustin adopted Ordinance 1465 based on the model regional ordinance.