Regulation Rulemaking on the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)



Regulation Rulemaking on the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO)

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Department of Water Resources, pursuant to the authority vested in it by Government Code (GC) §65596.5, proposes amendments to the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. The proposed amendments are updates to the ordinance that simplify and clarify the requirements of the ordinance to facilitate local implementation and improve compliance. A written comment period commences on November 17, 2023, and closes on January 16, 2024. All inquiries should be directed to the contacts listed below.

MWELO provides a standard for the design, installation, management, and maintenance of landscapes to use water efficiently without water waste. The MWELO was developed by DWR in coordination with irrigation and landscape experts as a model for local agencies to enforce minimum standards in landscape design, construction, and management. The proposed MWELO amendments intend to simplify the MWELO by resolving ambiguities, providing clarity, and improving MWELO’s organization. The amendments will facilitate more consistent implementation of MWELO by making the ordinance easier to understand and follow. The amendments do not change existing requirements.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR), Water Use Efficiency Branch, will conduct a public hearing regarding the draft amendments to the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) as part of the rulemaking process. The public hearing will include a presentation describing the proposed amendments to the regulation, followed by time for comments. At the public hearing, any person may present comments orally or in writing relevant to the proposed action described in this notice. 

Public Hearing and Comment Period

DATE: Tuesday, January 9, 2024

TIME: 9:00 a.m.

LOCATION: California Natural Resources Headquarters Building

Second Floor Conference Room 2-301

715 P Street

Sacramento, CA 95814

& Remote Participation


The hearing will be recorded and will be webcast for Remote Participation : MWELO Hearing January 9th, 2024


The Public comment period ends on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

How to submit a public comment:

Send your comments to DWR, including your name, contact information, who you are representing, and reference the rulemaking topic prominently (e.g., in the subject line if submitting an email) (“MWELO update”). Additionally, the Department requests, but does not require, that persons who submit written comments reference the draft MWELO amendments (Section numbers) in their comments to facilitate review.

Comments can be submitted by:

                     Attn: MWELO Update

                     Water Use Efficiency Branch

                     P.O. Box 942836-0001

                     Sacramento, CA 94236-0001


Written comments must be received by 5:00PM Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

The Department requests, but does not require, that written and email statements on this item be filed at least 10 days prior to the public hearing so that the Department has time to consider each comment. The Department encourages members of the public to bring to the attention of staff, in advance of the hearing, any suggestions for modification of the proposed regulatory action. 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Notice 11/17/2023

Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR)

ISOR 11/17/2023

Proposed Text of Regulation (MWELO Text)

MWELO Text 11/17/2023

Changes to the text within MWELO use the following nomenclature:

Existing Text

New Text

Deleted Text


See underlined and strikeout text starting with Section 490. The document shows some existing regulatory language that is being moved (strikeout) without changes to a new location (underlined) for reorganization and simplification. These moves are explained in the ISOR. New text is underlined and deleted text is in strikeout as required by the Office of Administrative Law. 


Signed Form STD 399 11/17/2023

Form STD 399 Attachment 11/17/2023

Informational Exhibits 11/17/2023


Shem Stygar

Senior Water Resources Engineer

Water Use Efficiency Branch


Julie Saare-Edmonds

Senior Environmental Scientist

Water Use Efficiency Branch


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