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Dedicated Irrigation Meter Management for CII Accounts

Published: September 3rd, 2019 | |

DWR Direct Action Contract Task #5:

Dedicated Irrigation Meter Management for CII Accounts



The California Urban Water Conservation Council developed a Handbook for BMP No. 5 for large landscapes in 1999 that offered prescriptive water efficiency methods for large landscapes with dedicated irrigation meters, primarily in the Commercial Industrial Institutional (CII) sector and including multi-family residential. Specifically, these methods included 1) developing water use budgets, including options for obtaining landscape measurements and weather data; and 2) offering supplemental landscape programs (i.e. financial incentives, training and education, encouraging dedicated meter installation, etc.).

In 2017 the Council transformed into the California Water Efficiency Partnership.

Considerable work in the large landscape area has been done since the Handbook was published, including updates to BMP 5 (see page 2). Therefore, CalWEP will follow-up with water member agencies that have utilized these methods, or similar, and will summarize best practices and lessons learned by these agencies.

Action Items:

CalWEP will conduct research and outreach to water agencies in order to inform the following deliverables:

  1. Written guidance on measurement /and verification of the landscape area irrigated by a dedicated meter to set up an appropriate budget for that landscape area, and also to include any landscape still being irrigated and counted on the master meter.


  1. Best practice management of landscapes with dedicated irrigation meters shall be prepared, based on interviews conducted with 5 to 7 water agencies representing various regions of the state, to account for both demographic and environmental differences. Specific lessons learned should include what water agencies have learned is most cost effective.


BMP 5 Landscape (updates as of December 10th, 2008)

Accounts with Dedicated Irrigation Meters

  1. a) Identify accounts with dedicated irrigation meters and assign ETo-based water use budgets equal to no more than an average of 70% of ETo (reference evapotranspiration) of annual average local ETo per square foot of landscape area in accordance with the schedule below.

Recreational areas (portions of parks, playgrounds, sports fields, golf courses, or school yards in public and private projects where turf provides a playing surface or serves other high-use recreational purposes) and areas permanently and solely dedicated to edible plants, such as orchards and vegetable gardens, may require water in addition to the water use budget. (These areas will be referred to as “recreational” below.) The water agency must provide a statement designating those portions of the landscape to be used for such purposes and specifying any additional water needed above the water use budget, which may not exceed 100% of ETo on an annual basis.

If the California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance is revised to reduce the water allowance, this BMP will be revised automatically to reflect that change.

  1. b) Provide notices each billing cycle to accounts with water use budgets showing the relationship between the budget and actual consumption.
  2. c) Offer site-specific technical assistance to reduce water use to those accounts that are 20% over budget in accordance with the schedule given in Section B; agencies may choose not to notify customers whose use is less than their water use budget.


Related Publications

The Water Loss Standard Cut Sheet

The Indoor Residential Standard Cut Sheet (Updated)

The Commercial, Industrial, Institutional Dedicated Irrigation Meter (CII-DIM) Standard

The Outdoor Residential Standard Cut Sheet (Updated)

Framework FAQ: Residential Outdoor Standard

Lessons Learned: Dedicated Irrigation Meter Management for CII Accounts

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