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SB-780 Water Conservation in Landscaping Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
SB780:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 780


Introduced by Senator Wiener

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 65593 of, and to add Sections 65595.5, 65595.6, 65595.7, 65595.8, and 65595.9 to, the Government Code, relating to water conservation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 780, as introduced, Wiener. Water Conservation in Landscaping Act.
Previously existing law required the Department of Water Resources to develop a model local water efficient landscape ordinance by January 1, 1992, and the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act, which is part of the Planning and Zoning Law, requires the department to update the model ordinance, as provided. The act provides that, if a local agency did not adopt a water efficient landscape ordinance or specified findings that an ordinance is not necessary by January 1, 1993, that model ordinance applies within the jurisdiction of the local agency, except in the case of a chartered city. The act makes various findings and declarations of legislative intent.
This bill would require state and local agencies to adhere to specified principles of the watershed approach in landscaping. The bill would require the Department of Water Resources to develop watershed approach-focused landscaping policies and incentives, including an enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance, as provided. The bill would also require the Department of Water Resources to promote watershed approach-focused education and training for homeowners, contractors, certified community conservation corps, and other landscape professionals who plan, develop, or implement projects complying with the enhanced model ordinance. The bill would require the Natural Resources Agency to incorporate the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance standards into its incentive programs and guidelines, as provided, and would require that a local agency that provides landscape incentive programs provide as part of those programs a preference for projects that conform to the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance. By increasing the duties of local government officials with respect to landscaping, this bill would impost a state-mandated local program.
This bill would authorize the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to promote the application of compost in urban areas of the state to assist with projects supplemented in accordance with the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance and, in coordination with the Department of Water Resources, to develop and implement pilot projects that support the understanding and deployment of compost to meet specified goals. The bill would also require the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, in coordination with the State Air Resources Board, to develop a greenhouse gas emissions reduction factor for new climate appropriate landscapes, as provided.
This bill would make additional findings related to the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 65593 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65593.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The waters of the state are of limited supply and are subject to ever increasing demands.
(b) The continuation of California’s economic prosperity is dependent on adequate supplies of water being available for future uses.
(c) It is the policy of the state to promote the conservation and efficient use of water and to prevent the waste of this valuable resource.
(d) Landscapes are essential to the quality of life in California by providing areas for active and passive recreation and as an enhancement to the environment by cleaning air and water, preventing erosion, offering fire protection, and replacing ecosystems lost to development.
(e) Landscape design, installation, maintenance, and management can and should be water efficient.
(f) California has been a global leader in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases through the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code) and Executive Orders S-3-05 and B-30-15, issued by Governor Schwarzenegger on June 1, 2005, and Governor Edmund G. Brown on April 29, 2015, respectively.
(g) The state’s existing investment in natural infrastructure, including urban forest canopy, which helps accomplish both carbon sequestration and climate resilience, is at risk due to existing drought conditions and warming temperatures.
(h) Improved water retention and infiltration can greatly reduce reliance on energy-intensive, long-distance water imports and thereby reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
(i) The state has recently developed a strategy to dramatically increase the diversion of organic waste being used to create compost and mulch.
(j) Composting and use of organic waste in improved landscape and healthy soil management have great potential to be cost effective at reducing greenhouse gas levels through improved carbon soil sequestration and may also greatly improve water retention and infiltration of stormwater flows.

(f)

(k) Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution specifies that the right to use water is limited to the amount reasonably required for the beneficial use to be served and the right does not and shall not extend to waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use.

(g)

(l) (1) The Legislature, pursuant to Chapter 682 of the Statutes of 2004, requested the California Urban Water Conservation Council to convene a stakeholders work group to develop recommendations for improving the efficiency of water use in urban irrigated landscapes.
(2) The work group report includes a recommendation to update the model water efficient landscape ordinance adopted by the department pursuant to Chapter 1145 of the Statutes of 1990.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department promote the use of this updated model ordinance.

(h)

(m) Notwithstanding Article 13 (commencing with Section 65700), this article addresses a matter that is of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Accordingly, it is the intent of the Legislature that this article, except as provided in Section 65594, apply to all cities and counties, including charter cities and charter counties.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65595.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65595.5.
 (a) State and local agencies shall do both of the following:
(1) Promote landscaping that implements a watershed approach, which reduces water inputs, increases water retention in the soil, improves stormwater capture, improves drought preparedness and adaptation, increases green spaces and tree canopy in low-income communities, improves park and recreation facilities and schools, and helps California communities address the effects of climate change through increased carbon soil sequestration, reduced heat-island impacts, the creation of healthy living ecosystems, and the diversion of organic waste.
(2) Promote a growing movement of emerging landscape professionals to expand and serve the increasing market for watershed-wise landscape services, including opportunities for employment and pathways to entrepreneurship of California’s at-risk youth in climate and watershed-appropriate landscape strategies, especially in disadvantages communities.
(b) The landscaping projects described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall adhere to the following basic principles of the watershed approach to landscaping:
(1) Build and protect healthy, living soil.
(2) Capture rainwater as a resource.
(3) Use climate-appropriate plants.
(4) Where irrigation is necessary, use only highly efficient irrigation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 65595.6 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65595.6.
 The department shall develop watershed approach-focused landscaping policies and incentives, including the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance pursuant to Section 65595.7, that promote all of the following for landscaping projects of any size:
(a) Improved tree canopy and green spaces, especially in parks, greenbelts, urban areas, communities lacking trees, and school facilities.
(b) Improved water management and drought preparedness.
(c) Improved water capture and infiltration.
(d) Improved stormwater capture.
(e) Workforce training for young men and women to design, install, and maintain watershed approach-focused landscapes, especially in disadvantaged communities.
(f) Growth of the movement and market for landscape professionals who are prepared to implement broad adaptation of watershed-focused landscaping practices.
(g) Improved adaptation for urban communities related to the effects of drought and a changing climate.
(h) Carbon sequestration and associated greenhouse gas reduction benefits maintained through the enhancement and improved management of the urban forest canopy and through soil carbon sequestration via the application of compost and mulch.
(i) Production and application of compost made from organic materials, including formerly landfilled urban organic residuals, as well as the waste products of agriculture and forest management.

SEC. 4.

 Section 65595.7 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65595.7.
 (a) The department shall develop an enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance that conforms to the watershed approach, as described in Section 65595.5, and includes the following:
(1) Minimum standards for design, installation, and maintenance.
(2) Project certification or audits completed by qualified professionals trained in watershed approach-focused landscape practices.
(3) Use of landscape professionals trained in watershed approach-focused landscape practices.
(4) Use of the California Conservation Corps and certified community conservation corps, as defined in Section 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code.
(b) The department shall promote watershed approach-focused education and training for homeowners, contractors, certified community conservation corps, and other landscape professionals who plan, develop, or implement projects complying with the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance.
(c) The Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with all departments, boards, commissions, offices, and other entities within that agency, shall incorporate the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance standards into the incentive programs and guidelines of the agency and its departments, boards, commissions, offices, and other entities, as applicable.
(d) A local agency that provides landscape incentive programs shall provide as part of those programs a preference for projects that conform to the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance.

SEC. 5.

 Section 65595.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65595.8.
 (a) The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, consistent with Section 42649.87 of the Public Resources Code, may promote the application of compost in urban areas of the state to assist with projects supplemented in accordance with the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance developed pursuant to Section 65595.7.
(b) The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in coordination with the department, may develop and implement pilot projects that support the understanding and deployment of compost to meet the goals of this division.

SEC. 6.

 Section 65595.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65595.9.
 The State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, in coordination with the State Air Resources Board, shall develop an emissions reduction factor for new climate appropriate landscapes that follow the enhanced model water efficient landscape ordinance, developed pursuant to Section 65595.7, and the watershed approach, as described in Section 65595.5. The factor shall compare the performance of new landscapes to a baseline urban landscape that includes cool-season turf and nonclimate-adapted shrubbery. The emissions reduction factor shall consider, at a minimum, the effect that the following reductions have on the emissions of greenhouse gases:
(a) Reductions in water use for regular maintenance.
(b) Reductions in emissions from small gasoline-powered engines used for regular maintenance, including turfgrass mowing, edging, and similar functions. Reductions in criteria pollutants shall also be considered in this analysis.
(c) Reductions in the use of fossil fuel-based nitrogen, imported phosphorous, and other fertilizers.
(d) Reductions in the use of pesticides.
(e) Reductions in vehicle miles traveled, including fewer maintenance visits to landscapes and fewer tons of materials sent to landfills.

SEC. 7.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.