WELS - Water Efficient Landscaping Standards

An 18-month pilot phase began June 22, 2017 after adoption of Ordinance 16, Series 2017 and ended on December 31, 2018. For all permit applications accepted by the City during the pilot phase, all documentation described in this document was required, and irrigation and landscaping installation requirements needed to be met. During the pilot phase, the City encouraged applicants to meet the 7.5 gallons/season/square-foot water budget, however, failure to meet the Maximum Applied Water Budget during the 18-month pilot phase did not hold up applicant’s building permit and/or certificate of occupancy. Effective January 1, 2019, full compliance with the City of Aspen Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance and Standards will be required.

Water sprinkler on lawn

General Information & Documents

It is recommended that properties within the City limits of Aspen submit the Landscape and Irrigation Documentation Package to the WELS Plans Reviewer for a completeness review, prior to submitting the documentation package to the permit coordinator at the time of building permit submission.

County Process Documents

Upload Your County Application Form & Plan Set

Attention: all plans and documentation related to permits and reviews for proposed development on Pitkin County Parcels with connection(s) to the City of Aspen water distribution system must be submitted via the City of Aspen’s Applicant Portal (link provided below).

To Upload your Application Form and County Plan Set please use the Permit Submission Form.


Rob Gregor MPA - Utilities Management Analyst

City of Aspen Utilities Department

Phone: 970-429-1993

Megan Killer - WELS Plans Reviewer


Phone: 970-309-2517

Certification Resources:

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Certification:  https://www.qwel.net/

The QWEL program is an EPA WaterSense labeled Professional Certification Program for Irrigation System Audits. QWEL graduates meet the requirements to perform third party water audits as specified in Aspen’s Pilot Landscape Ordinance. QWEL professional certification provides landscape professionals with 20 hours of education on principles of proper plant selection for the local climate, irrigation system design and maintenance, irrigation system programming and operation and sustainable landscaping.The next QWEL training in Aspen will be offered in Fall 2021. Dates will be confirmed shortly.  You can learn more about QWEL training offered in Aspen here.  For questions, or to request more information about upcoming QWEL courses, please contact Lee Ledesma by email at lee.ledesma@cityofaspen.com or call 970.429.1975.  

Irrigation Association Website: http://irrigation.org

Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado Certification:  http://www.alcc.com/certification

GreenCo BMP Training Website:  http://www.greenco.org/bmp-training.html

Looking for a QWEL Certified Professional to Audit Your Landscape?  Link to:  QWEL Pros for Hire

QWELpros for hire linking logo

Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers - Find a Certified Auditor

Click the link below or the QWEL logo for more information! www.cityofaspen.com/1195/Qualified-Water-Efficient-Landscaper-Pro