Update: Santa Monica Water Neutrality Ordinance Takes Effect

Santa Monica’s Water Neutrality ordinance, which ZC Principal John Zinner has played a significant role in developing, took effect July 1. It impacts all commercial and residential projects that increase water use from the previous level on their site, including new buildings, significant remodels, and new pools, spas and even fountains.


There are two compliance paths to offset the increase in water use. Owners can pay a fee which the city will use to retrofit water efficient fixtures, most likely in older apartment buildings, or they can directly install a sufficient number of offsite fixtures.

The city has released the initial Water Calculators to project water use for different project types. The initial calculators only address water efficiency; they will be modified later to incorporate water reuse.  John Zinner and Glen Boldt reviewed the calculator and submitted significant comments that the city is reviewing.

This is the largest and most aggressive ordinance of its type adopted to date in California. Los Angeles County is considering a similar ordinance.

Read more here.