Four years ago, while California was still experiencing a drought, DSA enacted the Outdoor Water Use regulations which required schools to rehabilitate irrigation systems in landscaped areas to reduce water use.  To ease into the requirement, DSA allowed school districts to take a district-wide water conservation approach by making more improvements on one site in lieu of another, thereby banking their water conservation, instead of the site-specific approach as the regulations require. 

Beginning today (May 1, 2019), DSA is no longer banking new credits and therefore we are discontinuing the $500 submission fee. A landscape irrigation design and documentation package is still required as a part of project submission and design professionals will now be signing a revised form DSA 1-L: Outdoor Water Use Self-Certification of Landscape Irrigation Design and Documentation which includes a combination certification and compliance statement. PR 15-03: Compliance with CALGreen Code Outdoor Water Use Regulations is revised for the new procedure.  

School districts that used the “landscape bank” will have until Jan. 1, 2020 to deplete any existing credits. Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, DSA will no longer accept the “landscape bank” option for code compliance.  The site-specific approach to the Outdoor Water Use regulations as written will be in effect and projects are required to adhere to the rehabilitation and irrigation requirements in the CALGreen Code Section 5.304.6, Outdoor Water Use Regulations.

With each triennial code we must evaluate our Interpretations on Regulations (IRs) and procedures to ensure consistency with the regulations.  We have learned a lot from the procedures we set in place to implement the Outdoor Water Use regulations, and a move to streamline the process for the district and will result in greater compliance, water conservation, and site sustainability.

  • The landscape bank option conflicted with regulations.
  • The landscape bank option was not widely-used.
  • The landscape bank option implemented extraneous layers of DSA review and consultant work that did not promote or impact project certification.

In complying with the regulations, school districts will achieve cost savings over time by reducing the amount of water used for irrigation, and the regulations will continue to help school districts meet the requirements of their local water districts.  Together with our school districts, we will continue to set an example for water conservation for our students and our communities and demonstrate our commitment to a more sustainable water future for California.

For questions regarding this streamlined procedure, please see the Sustainability Plan Review webpage for our Frequently Asked Questions.