The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, submitted comments to the California State Water Resources Control Board regarding its proposed regulatory framework known as Making Conservation a California Way of Life.
The association has raised concerns over the proposed Landscape Efficiency Factor standards for various landscapes, citing financial burdens and practical challenges in achieving these targets. The letter states concerns regarding assumptions about effective precipitation in the state’s water budget, suggesting that real-time data through smart irrigation controllers would be more accurate.
“Available technology such as smart irrigation controllers and on-site sensors, which adjust to real-time data, offer a more precise solution than assuming effective precipitation based on historical averages that don’t reflect current or microclimate conditions,” says Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association advocacy and public affairs vice president.
The letter also points out concerns about the costs and regulatory burdens of the proposal, especially on economically disadvantaged communities. The association calls for equitable access to reclaimed water and upgraded irrigation systems. They urge the board to consider the operational impact on irrigation professionals and to support education, training and water recovery programs.
“The potential costs and regulatory burdens of this proposal, especially on economically disadvantaged communities, are a significant concern,” adds Bowen. “We’re urging the board to consider the financial implications and explore equitable solutions that don’t disproportionately impact these populations.”
The letter also reads that the board should consider the role that qualified irrigation and landscape professionals will have in implementing the regulation and to ensure they are a part of the regulatory process.
“Through proactive engagement and shared expertise, we can craft a regulation that promotes conservation and supports the growth and vitality of the green industry in California,” says Bowen.