Non-Functional Turf

Non-Functional Turf

Overview of the New California Water Conservation Law - AB 1572

Summary of AB 1572

The use of potable water to irrigate nonfunctional turf has been declared wasteful and incompatible with the State policy relating to climate change, water conservation, and reduced reliance on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.

As such, AB 1572 prohibits the use of potable water for the irrigation of non-functional turf located on commercial, industrial, municipal, institutional, and common interest developments including Homeowners Associations. It requires these types of property owners to certify their compliance with these provisions. It also authorizes urban water suppliers, such as SCV Water, to enforce* these provisions.


* While SCV Water will prioritize education, awareness and programmatic support of this new law, SCV Water retains the option to enforce the law should a lack of public compliance merit such escalation.

Looking for NFT information specific to Homeowners' Associations?

Click here for NFT Information for HOAs

 

 


What is non-functional turf (NFT)?

NFT is mowed grass that is decorative and not otherwise used for human recreation purposes. These areas of grass are commonly found between sidewalks and streets, in medians, in parking lots and in front of businesses, institutions, and common areas of developments maintained by homeowner associations.

Who does the law (AB 1572) affect?

SCV Water customers subject to this ban include commercial, industrial, institutional, and municipal customers, and homeowners association (HOA) common areas.

NFT does not apply to residential homes, school fields, sports fields, and areas regularly used for civic or community events.

The Benefits of Removing Non-Functional Turf

By replacing non-functional turf with more sustainable landscapes, you will:

  • Be making a long-term investment that will pay off through reduced water bills and potential rebate incentives. Typically, there is between 40-60% water savings in the areas converted to more sustainable landscapes.
  • Irrigate your sustainable landscape more efficiently with high-efficiency irrigation equipment.
  • Increase your landscape’s resilience to future droughts and watering restrictions.
  • Help California move toward a greener and water-efficient future.

Isolated Turf (no trees or shrubs)

Mixed Landscape (turf and trees)

 

NFT Bulletin

Get the 4-1-1 on NFT.

NFT Bulletin - English

NFT Bulletin - Spanish

Smart Practice Guide

To help you comply with the ban.

Smart Practice Guide - English

Smart Practice Guide - Spanish

  We encourage you to communicate with your landscape contractor to determine the best course of action for your property.

 Getting Started

  1. Request a meeting with the SCV Water Conservation team
  2. Request a free full irrigation survey with WaterWise, call 888-987-9473
  3. Start a Lawn Replacement Program (LRP) Application
  4. Find resources for Water Efficient Landscape Design
  5. Find a Water Efficient Landscape Contractor (TBD)

Compliance Schedule

AB 1572 took effect January 1, 2024. The schedule below identifies the timeframe for various customer groups to comply with the law.

 
Customer Groups Compliance Date
State government properties
Local government properties
January 1, 2027
Commercial, Industrial and institutional properties January 1, 2028
HOA common areas
Mobile home parks
Retirement Communities
January 1, 2029
Local government properties in disadvantaged communities (DAC) January 1, 2031

 

Rebates & Resources

Our goal is to partner with our customers by prioritizing education, engagement and program support.

Take advantage of SCV Water’s rebate programs:

Or visit our Conservation Rebate Portal for more information.

PRO TIP: Plan your projects out and prepare your landscape for modifications in Spring/Fall during planting season when the weather is milder.

Top Tree Care Tips

Are you worried about how complying with the NFT ban will affect your trees? Click on the button for the top tips to keep your trees happy and healthy.

Top Tree Care Tips

 

Pictured: Common Area LRP Project

Pictured: Drip Irrigation

Pictured: Trees in a Common Area

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is AB 1572?

AB 1527 prohibits the use of potable water for the irrigation of non-functional turf (NFT) located on commercial, industrial, municipal, institutional, and common interest developments (including HOAs). It requires property owners (identified above) to certify their compliance with these provisions. It also authorizes urban water suppliers, such as SCV Water, to enforce these provisions.

Who decides if turf is functional or non-functional?

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has provided the current definition of NFT, and will provide more detailed definitions as well as certification and compliance forms by January 1, 2025.

What is non-functional turf (NFT)?

Non-Functional Turf (NFT) is mowed grass that is decorative and not otherwise used for human recreation purposes. It applies to the turf maintained by SCV Water’s Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) customers including common areas of Homeowners Associations as well as Common Interest Developments.

Does NFT apply to residential properties?

No, NFT does not apply to residential properties, school fields, sports fields, and areas regularly used for civic or community events.

When must my property comply with the law (AB 1572)?

Compliance Schedule

AB 1572 took effect January 1, 2024. The schedule below identifies the timeframe for various customer groups to comply with the law.

Customer Groups Compliance Date
State government properties January 1, 2027
Commercial, industrial and institutional properties January 1, 2028
HOA common areas
Mobile home parks
Retirement communities
January 1, 2029
Local government properties in disadvantaged communities (DAC) January 1, 2031
How must my property comply with the law (AB 1572)?

Applicable customer groups must permanently discontinue the watering of NFT by specified dates and provide compliance reports to the State Water Resources Control Board on an annual basis.

For a more in-depth look at the ways to comply, review our NFT Smart Practice Guide.

We encourage customers to communicate with your landscape contractor to determine the best course of action for your property.

How can my entity partner with SCV Water?
Are rebates or incentives available for the removal of NFT?

Yes, SCV Water offers rebates for Lawn Replacement and for high-efficiency irrigation. Visit our Conservation Rebate Portal for more information.

What can be planted instead of grass?

Affected customers are encouraged to replace their grass with water-efficient plants. Visit our Rebates page for Large Landscapes and HOAs to learn more about SCV Water’s Lawn Replacement Program.

Will there be enforcement and/or penalties? If so, who will be responsible?

While SCV Water will prioritize education, awareness and programmatic support of this new law, SCV Water retains the option to enforce the law should a lack of public compliance merit such escalation.  The City of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County also has the ability to enforce the NFT watering ban.

 

Contact Us

Please reach out to us via email at conservation@scvwa.org with the subject line: NFT for any questions, comments or concerns about non-functional turf and how it may affect your HOA.