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EMWD Committed to Working With CII Customers To Save Water

EMWD Committed to Working With CII Customers To Save Water

August 16, 2022

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Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) wants to be a partner with its Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) customers to help them do their part and reduce outdoor irrigation use during California’s ongoing drought.

The State Water Resources Control Board and EMWD have both recently adopted regulations prohibiting the irrigation of nonfunctional turf with potable water, with some exceptions – most notably if trees or perennial shrubs are on the same irrigation station as the nonfunctional turf.

CII customers include businesses and business centers, schools, parks, public landscaping, government facilities, industrial sites, homeowners association-maintained landscaping, and many other non-residential sites.

Nonfunctional turf is grass that is decorative and serves no active recreational benefits. Functional turf is in areas like parks, schools, golf courses, and other areas where families may safely and actively recreate. If the only reason the grass is walked on is to mow it, it likely qualifies as nonfunctional.

“As California’s ongoing drought has worsened, it is critical that we reevaluate our public landscaping choices and transition to more sustainable alternatives that require a lower water use,” EMWD Board President Phil Paule said. “We are committed to being a partner with all of our CII customers to help them not only understand the regulations, but to reach compliance through proactive education.”

EMWD hosted a workshop for CII customers on July 27, 2022, and has been doing outreach throughout its service area to customers with large areas of nonfunctional turf. That outreach has included information about the regulations and ways that EMWD is helping to support its CII customers through rebates and other programs.

CII customers are eligible for $3 per square foot of turf removal rebates when the grass is replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping. EMWD also offers a wide range of device rebates, including smart irrigation controllers, weather stations, drip systems, and much more, to assist those customers in upgrading their irrigation systems to be more efficient.

“We hope that all of our CII customers will work with us to achieve corporate sustainability and do their part to reduce their outdoor irrigation,” Paule said. “In doing so, businesses and government agencies can ensure they are helping California through this historic drought, and also preparing for a more sustainable future while reducing their costs.”

For more information on EMWD’s programs available to CII customers, please visit

Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to nearly one million people living and working within a 558-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency, and its mission is “To deliver value to our diverse customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.”
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