Drought Irrigation Restriction Management

On July 21, we were informed that our HOA must comply with the California State “Second Water Conservation Emergency Regulation of 2022 (May/June 2022)”.

In short, we must immediately stop irrigating non-functional turf (ornamental-only turf) with potable water. This mandate is in effect for a year. The Landscape Committee is working closely with IRWD, our HOA Board, and Harvest Landscape, and others, to comply with this mandate.

The Landscape Committee is working on near zero-cost turf removal projects with our soon-to-be-dead turf as priority areas.

Course of Action

July 28, 2022 – The Board directed the Landscape Committee to work with IRWD and Harvest to comply with the state mandate, and to keep the Board appraised of the actions being taken, the progress being made, and any issues.

November 11, 2022 – We have complied by turning off the irrigation to approximately 4.5 acres of property and posted signs that drought restrictions are in place. Much of this area contains trees that will be irrigated every 2 weeks to protect the trees. All of this turf is expected to die in the near future, but with rain and irrigating the trees, we hope it will last long enough to apply for rebates to upgrade these areas to non-turf plants. Currently, this represents about $1.1M in rebates to be used for turf and sprinkler replacement. Turf replacement rebates only apply to grass (living and dead), not to dirt that was once grass.

December 2, 2022 – We have also identified approximately 9.5 acres of erosion control turf. We claim that this is functional turf but this claim is controversial. It is likely that this turf will eventually require replacing with non-turf erosion solutions. At current rates, this represents about $3.4M in rebates to be used for turf and sprinkler replacement.

Exempt Areas

  • Areas not irrigated with potable water.
    • Sombra Park (across from the Clubhouse) and a small portion of the Paseo Sombra Street Trees.
    • Trabuco from Paseo Sombra to the church.
    • Trabuco from Paseo Tranquilo to Via del Rio
    • Sendero Channel
  • Non-turf areas
    • All embankments and other areas devoid of turf
  • Recreational turf areas
    • Center oval area in Abeto Park
  • Erosion control turf (This turf exemption is being debated.)
    • Most of Cipres Channel, except elevated flat areas
    • Much of the Main Green Belt, except elevated flat areas. All of the area near the Clubhouse

Areas that Must Comply

  • Areas with turf to be adjusted for tree health.
    • Trees irrigation is exempt. Therefore sprinklers will be adjusted to irrigate only within the drip-line of trees. The control of these sprinklers will be adjusted to occasionally deep water these trees. This irrigation plan is actually healthier for the trees but the turf under them will likely die. We are following the advise of Great Scott on the irrigation requirements of our trees.
  • Areas that are clearly ornamental
    • In these areas, the sprinkler head will be turned off. The valve will be shut off if no sprinklers in this zone irrigate trees.


State Water Conservation Portal (includes many downloadable documents)
IRWD, Commercial Landscape Restrictions
IRWD, State-adopted watering restrictions in place for some commercial customers
SP HOA Best Practices – Drought Irrigation Restriction Management