Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Water Efficient Landscaping Bill, AB 2525, passed the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee with a 9-3 vote. AB 2525 creates the California Water Efficient Landscaping (WEL) Program that encourages Californians to upgrade their landscape and irrigation equipment for more efficient ones. It also prioritizes participation of families that qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
“California is suffering from a five-year drought and is already experiencing the adverse of effects of climate change such as record breaking high temperatures,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “This bill aims to tackle these issues by implementing water efficient landscaping and irrigation in urban areas in order to help us adapt to a new era of climate change in California. We need to capture water when it rains and minimize use when it does not.”
AB 2525 will expand on existing lawn replacement programs by adopting best practices of similar, but locally implemented, initiatives to help California hit its statewide goal of replacing 50 million square feet of grass turf. AB 2525 specifically calls for a water-shed approach to urban landscaping that would replace lawns and inefficient sprinkler systems with native plants, water efficient irrigation methods, and water capturing systems.
“The creation of the WEL program goes beyond solving our water and climate crises – it creates green jobs that boost our economy, optimizes landscapes in urban areas, and saves costs to consumers in the long run,” said Holden.
“The California Association of Local Conservation Corps applauds Assemblymember Holden’s efforts to address the critical need for water conservation, and job opportunities in underserved communities,” said Alan Lessik, California Association of Local Conservation Corps President. “AB 2525 would provide immediate job opportunities for unemployed Californians while improving communities and helping families throughout the state save water and money.”
AB 2525 has already received broad support from conservation organizations such as the Sierra Club, California League of Conservation Voters, and Californian’s Against Waste. The bill will now head to the Committee on Local Government.