SF Public Utilities Commission provides guidance and regulates water management and water use for gardens, farms, and other landscape sites per the Water Efficient Irrigation Ordinance instated on January 1, 2010. All urban farmers are encouraged to follow water efficient landscaping practices, comply with waste water prevention provisions, and, depending on the size of the landscape area, may need to comply with specific requirements.

Per the new guidelines, any urban agriculture project that plans to install new landscape or modify existing landscape area may need to comply with additional requirements depending on the specific size of the landscape area – see the "How to Comply" Flow Chart for more information. Projects at the following landscape area thresholds prompt different compliance actions – any project 1,000 square feet and over will require appropriate documentation, application submittal and approval, installation or modification in accordance, and a final Certification of Completion:

• Less than 1,000 square feet: No application or extra steps required. Projects must simply follow water efficient landscaping practices and comply with water waste prevention provisions.
• Projects 1,000 to 2,500 square feet: Follow Tier 1 requirements.
• Greater than or equal to than 2,500 square feet: Follow Tier 2 requirements.
• 10 acres and larger: Follow the large landscape requirements involving a Compliance Plan. Contact SF PUC Water Conservation staff for more information.  

Please see SF Public Utilities Commission’s webpage for instructions, full details on compliance, and contact information for assistance.

Photo: Susy Morris, ChiotsRun.com