October 4, 2023
Broomfield, Colorado City Council unanimously passed one of the strongest waterwise landscaping ordinances in the state. Experts at WaterNow Alliance and Western Resource Advocates advised Broomfield on the development of this ordinance as part of WaterNow Alliance’s Project Accelerator program, which provides 250 hours of pro bono support to help communities advance sustainable water projects.
The ordinance establishes waterwise landscaping standards for new and redeveloped homes and commercial properties. The standards include the following:
- Turfgrass is limited to 30% of the front and side yards of detached single-family homes and commercial property landscaped areas. Turfgrass must primarily consist of low water grasses.
- Landscapes must be designed with waterwise plants and a water budget that encourages thoughtful, low-water designs.
- Irrigation systems must have automatic rain shutoff sensors and meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense certification requirements.
- Turfgrass is not allowed in any parking lot landscape areas.
Roughly 60-70% of Broomfield’s water is used outdoors each year, with much of this going to irrigate thirsty, non-functional turfgrass. While other Colorado communities have also limited the amount of turf allowed in new development, Broomfield’s ordinance goes one step further and requires that lower water turfgrasses be used in most property types and areas.
Broomfield’s new landscaping standards will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
Caitlin Weber, 505-372-4937, email@example.com