Public Policy Issues

Restrictions & Regulations

Water supplies are under significant stress in many portions of the country due to population growth, outdated infrastructure and drought. These resources are increasingly targets of restrictions and regulations designed to:

  • Minimize peak water use.
  • Reduce demand on aging storage and conveyance systems.
  • Ensure water is available for health and sanitation needs.

Common restrictions and regulations include:

  • Limiting watering to certain times or days of the week, during peak season or year-round.
  • Mandating that professionals who design, install, maintain or audit irrigation systems be licensed or certified, or meet other training or testing requirements.
  • Implementing permitting and/or inspection requirements for irrigation systems.

The Irrigation Association recognizes that some restrictions and regulations can be effective tools to improve water-use efficiency and sustain water for future generations. IA supports restrictions and regulations that:

  • Are based on scientifically proven best practices.
  • Recognize the economic benefits and ecosystem services of community green spaces and irrigated land.
  • Give preference to efficient irrigation technologies and products.
  • Emphasize water re-use strategies, including recycling and reclamation.
  • Provide rebates, tax credits or other financial incentives to install efficient irrigation systems and upgrade existing equipment.
  • Encourage use of highly trained professionals to design, install and maintain irrigation systems.
  • Incorporate activities to educate consumers and end users about water saving products, practices and services, and the benefits of efficient irrigation.
  • Include provisions to measure their impact on water use and other key factors.