Last Updated: 8/5/2013

What is a landscape water budget site report?
Water budgets help customers save water and money while improving their efficiency. Each budget report is created specifically for the customer's landscaped area and incorporates actual landscape measurements for irrigated turf, trees and shrubs, local weather data and actual water use. The information is used to develop a recommended water budget for each specific customer.

The City has developed water budget for every dedicated irrigation meter customer. Customers will be receiving this informational Landscape Water Budget Site Report in addition to their normal water bill for a period of 12 months so they can see how their water usage and costs change from month to month allowing you enough time to modify irrigation practices before actual billing on a tiered metered rate structure begins. The proposed 3-tiered rate structure provides incentive for customers to stay within their established water budget and a dis-incentive if customers use more than their established water budget.

How it is calculated?
Water budgets are calculated in 2 ways depending on the landscape installation and/or permit issuance date.

For landscapes installed before January 1, 2010 the following calculation applies:

(ETo X KI) x Area
    IE x CF

ETo = daily reference evapotranspiration taken from CIMIS station 131
KI = landscape coefficient used to adjust ETo to plant water needs (100% turf, 60% shrubs and trees)
Area = measured landscaped area in square feet (using GIS application with field verification)
IE = irrigation efficiency (allowing for 60% efficiency)
CF = conversion factor value of 12 (converts inches to feet)

For landscapes installed and/or permitted after January 1, 2010, the following calculation applies:

(ETo)(0.62) [0.7 x LA +0.3 x SLA]

ETo = daily reference evapotranspiration taken from CIMIS station 131
0.62 = conversion factor (converts acre-inches per acre per year to gallons per square foot per year
0.7 = evapotranspiration adjustment factor, when applied to ETo adjusts for plant factors and irrigation efficiency
LA = all planting areas, turf areas and water features in a landscape
SLA = edible gardens, high use areas, recycled water use that require higher water use (increases 0.7 to 1.0)

Note: The water budget report does not include the fixed charge for operation and maintenance costs as found on your standard utility bill.

To assist you with your landscape needs, the City provides free site evaluations and water use reviews. A trained professional will evaluate your irrigation system looking for opportunities for efficiency and can recommend proper irrigation schedules for your specific site. Rebates are also available to help customers upgrade their inefficient systems or modify their landscaping from turf to a water efficient landscape. Visit

If you have questions about your water budget or would like to schedule a free landscape water use review please contact John Shannon at or (916) 774-5768.

Sample Water Budget

Water Efficiency
(916) 774-5761 (office)
(916) 774-5755 (fax)