The bill’s provisions prohibit the use of “traditional overhead sprinklers,” defined as including :”spray sprinkler nozzles with application rate greater than 1.0 inch per hour,” in new or rehabilitated landscapes. Additionally, the bill mandates the use of ”water efficient irrigation devices.”
“We are concerned about this bill,” says Nathan Bowen, advocacy and public affairs vice president for the Irrigation Association. “While we support enhanced water conservation and efficient irrigation in California, this bill falls short of that goal. This bill enacts proscriptive product standards in legislation that are not based on solid science and real-world data.”
According to the association’s letter, the bill would bypass existing legislation.
“We are particularly concerned about how the bill would circumvent the collaborative and cross-sector development of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and unilaterally impose unreasonable mandates on local irrigation and landscaping,” reads the letter.
Supporters of the bill such as Assemblymember Laura Friedman say that it would benefit the broader community.
“Landscaping has so much potential to support California’s important goals to conserve water, support biodiversity and connect more people to nature,” says Friedman, who is the author of AB 1573. “This bill helps unites those important goals, which is why I’m thrilled to see it moving forward.”
Bowen says the industry is committed to investing in new product development and contributing expertise to encourage dialogue and successful solutions that have a lasting impact on the sustainability of water resources, but this bill fails to engage the industry in meaningful dialogue.
“This bill would circumvent existing mechanisms that are in place to enhance water use efficiency in California. We urge legislators to reconsider these provisions and ensure experts, water management professionals and other stakeholders are consulted on these vitally important issues.”