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Water Neutrality

Water Neutrality Ordinance

On July 1, 2017, the Water Neutrality Ordinance went into effect capping water use for new developments to an average of the past five-year historical use for that individual parcel. A stakeholder committee of residents, building industry professionals, non-profits, manufacturers, and local governments created the proposed ordinance to meet Council's directive. This ordinance is one strategy to achieve the City's goal for water self-sufficiency by 2020. By maximizing water-efficiency, local groundwater and alternate water supplies, the city will no longer need to import water to meet all of its needs.

Note: On November 27, 2018, staff presented to Council modifications to the Ordinance to strengthen the policy’s ability to address new water demand created by new development, outdoor water features, tenant improvement projects, and residential remodels. The modifications to the ordinance will become effective January 18, 2019. To learn if your project is required to comply and how to comply. Please review the information and links below.

Does my project need to comply? 

What permit process applies to your project?

Instructions, Process and Applications: 

Water Neutrality Compliance Requirements pdf bug 2
Updated calculators will be available in January that conform to the ordinance changes.

Self-Reporting Calculation Criteria

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Water Neutrality Direct Install Program

Santa Monica water customers can receive high-efficiency indoor water fixtures (toilets, showerheads, faucet aerators) free of charge through the City’s Water Neutrality Direct Install Program.

Apply for Free Water Fixtures

Questions? Call 866-800-2307 or email

Download Water Neutrality Calculators 

Important Resources
Last updated: Tuesday, 04/02/2019
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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626