- phone (415) 551-4730
- mail_outline Water Conservation email@example.com
To reduce landscape water use through efficient irrigation design and low water-use plantings.
Who Must Comply?
All residential, commercial, municipal, and mixed-use projects installing or modifying 500 square feet or more of landscape area.
Tier 1 Projects
For smaller landscape projects, compliance with the Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance requires a simple checklist application. Your project qualifies as a Tier 1 project if it:
- Includes 1,000 - 2,500 square feet of modified landscape
- Is designed to include at least 75% low water use plants
- Has less than 25% turf area
If your project has over 2,500 square feet of modified landscape area or over 500 square feet of new landscape area, please see the Tier 2 requirements.
Resources for your Tier 1 Project
- Tier 1 Application Form
- State Water Budget Calculator for Residential Landscapes
- State Water Budget Calculator for Non-Residential Landscapes
- Definitions of Tier 1 Terms
- Certificate of Completion - to be completed after your landscape has been installed
To submit your landscape project for review, please complete the Tier 1 Application form and any additional documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tier 2 Projects
For new and modified landscape projects over 500 square feet, compliance with the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance requires professional documentation to be submitted to assure that your landscape is planned and maintained to meet water and irrigation efficiency standards. Your project qualifies as a Tier 2 project if it:
- Includes a new landscape area at least 500 square feet or a modified landscape area at least 2,500 square feet
- Is Tier 1 but includes less than 75% low water use plants and/or more than 25% turf
Applicants for Tier 2 landscape projects must complete a Tier 2 Form and provide landscape documentation for review and approval by the SFPUC before commencing installation. A complete Landscape Documentation Package shall include:
- Tier 2 Application Form - includes Water Budget Worksheets
- Planting Plan
- Irrigation Plan
- Soil Management Report (or soil specification)
- Grading Plan (if significant grading)
To submit your landscape project for review, complete the Tier 2 Application form including the project's plans (in PDF) and email the application package to email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the requirements apply to me?
The requirements of the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance apply to owners of residential, commercial, municipal, and mixed-use properties with a new landscape construction project equal to or greater than 500 square feet or a modified landscape project equal to or greater than 1,000 square feet. The SFPUC provides technical assistance and free plan review to assure your project’s landscape and irrigation plans comply with the ordinance.
How do I comply?
- Determine if your project requires a Tier 1 or a Tier 2 application. Tier 1 projects have modified landscape areas between 1,000 – 2,500 square feet. Tier 2 projects are new landscape areas greater than 500 square feet or modified landscape areas greater than 2,500 square feet.
- Prior to the installation of the landscape, submit the appropriate Tier 1 or Tier 2 application and required documentation to the SFPUC Water Conservation Section for review and approval.
- Install your landscape in accordance with your approved application.
- Submit a Certificate of Completion to the SFPUC Water Conservation Section.
Is this ordinance the same as the Green Landscaping Ordinance?
No, the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance is not the same as the Green Landscaping Ordinance. The Green Landscaping Ordinance is part of the San Francisco Planning Code and sets requirements for greening front setbacks of properties, screening and greening parking areas, and selecting and maintaining street trees.
Resources for Water Efficient Landscaping
- San Francisco Plant Water Use List
- Thrifty 150 Plant List Recommended by SF Public Works
- Guidebook on Water-Wise Gardening in San Francisco
- Free Water-Wise Evaluations
- Garden for the Environment Free Workshops
- Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Systems
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditors
If you have a specific question about your project’s Tier 1 or Tier 2 application, or any questions about the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance, please contact the SFPUC Water Conservation Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.