H2O Public Comments

You can shape the water restrictions in your community

Each of our water districts and municipalities have an opportunity to shape how they reach MWD’s goal of reducing water use to 80-gallons per day per individual – and whether LA can eventually reach water independence.

Engaging in Public Comment Periods

Once you have identified your community and agency’s timeframe for public comment, we are hopeful the following can help you guide your community toward an effective model toward lasting water resilience.

Water agencies and municipal leaders are currently flooded with calls and emails. Public comment periods have been full of vitriol. We find we are most influential when we:

  • Treat those informing and listening to the public with kindness and respect
  • Comment with the heart of a teacher, educating the public even as we guide leaders
  • Avoid amplifying emotion; affirm cooler minds and longer term thinking
    For those who are now living in native landscapes on drip, your gratitude for smart irrigation exemptions, affirmation of the charms of native plant gardens, and the benefits of existing tree canopy can inspire positive orientation and change. This information is every bit as important as the complaints fielded to decision-makers.
    Talking Points

    Specific proposals can differ by municipality and water district. These points engage with the common opportunities and threats posed by the MWD-proposed restriction formats.

    As Angelenos concerned about the city’s long term resilience, we:

  • Affirm exceptions that protect trees and perennials.
  • Encourage audits, measurements and enforcement that recognize those who have water positive properties.
  • Prioritize long term resilience and water independence, not simply reductions in applied water.
  • Boost “safe clean water program” incentives that help refuel groundwater.
  • Discourage or prohibit synthetics and gravelscapes that increase runoff, flooding, pollution, and fire danger.
  • Encourage water districts to convene with fire agencies, and urban planners to go beyond emergency management to driving long-term solutions for climate resilience.
  • Request public spaces be used to model water positivity with smart irrigation, native foliage, abundant native tree canopy, bioswales and cisterns.


    LA desperately needs us to learn from our last battle with drought. The last time we traveled this path, well-meaning Angelenos “planted” synthetic lawn, rock & cactus landscapes, and fire-fueling arson grasses to save water. Those “solutions” killed the soil, killed trees and reduced shade, led to more ocean-polluting runoff, increased energy costs for those who can least afford it, and amplified fire risk.

    We need to be smarter this time! We need water district and municipal assessments, incentives, and communications to focus on driving LA toward water independence by refueling our groundwater table. This means focusing on a property’s overall water positivity, not simply saving applied water. This looks like:

    Deterring the use of synthetic turf and creation of large gravelscapes
    Requiring larger set-asides for permeable spaces and tree canopy protection in new developments
    Using public spaces to demonstrate water positivity with smart irrigation, bioswales, rain catchment, and 100 percent California native, preferably hyper-local, plant palettes

    Fire prone communities have an outsized need for outdoor water, as living landscapes are defensive. In these communities, it would be wise for districts to work with fire agencies, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, and forward-thinking builders to encourage home-hardening to protect lives and properties.

    It is difficult to think about long term and unintended consequences in a crisis. If we do not, however, we will continue cycling from drought to fire to flood and slide crisis. Let’s use this crisis to motivate action towards a more resilient future.


    More Information

  • H20 Restriction FAQ
  • Tour a Water Positive Garden
  • 5 Qualities of Smart Irrigation
  • Rainbarrel Rebates
  • Bioswales
  • IdealMow Lawns and Meadows
  • Get More Water Saving Tips