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Otay Water District Executes Successful Bond Sale

Spring Valley, Calif. – On Oct. 11, the Otay Water District executed a successful bond sale that is expected to close on or about Nov. 1. The water revenue bond will fund $28 million of District’s capital projects during the next three years and will refinance $6.9 million of the District’s 1996 Variable Rate Demand Certificates of Participation (COPs) to a fixed rate of interest. By refinancing its 1996 Variable Rate COPs to a fixed rate, the District has eliminated the risk of increasing costs for customers due to rising interest rates.

Match your plant choices to the different microclimate areas in your landscaping. A microclimate map helps you make good choices. Photo: Water Authority

Match Your Landscape Plants To Your Microclimates

A previous Conservation Corner article explained how to map the different types of microclimates present in your landscaping. This information can help homeowners effectively arrange plants in their sustainable landscapes. For the most efficient water use, plants should be grouped together with similar water needs in their favorite microclimate.  

In nature, plants that like lots of water are found along the banks of streams, or grouped together at the base of landscape depressions. Plants that need fast-draining soils so roots don’t rot might be found on hillsides. Plants that love lots of sunshine won’t grow in the shade of a tree.  

Follow the microclimate map  

Look to the Microclimate Map for guidelines on choosing landscape plants. Here is a hypothetical yard with three microclimates:  

  • A front yard in full sun most of the day. 
  • A moist, low-lying area in full sun. (This area will retain moisture more than the rest of the yard, so you may want to use it for rain catchment. Hillside areas surrounding the depression are raised slightly, and drain freely.) 
  • A slightly shady area under the canopy of a neighbor’s large tree, and another one near the front entry to the house. 

Three distinct plant communities 

Selecting plants for the yard in this example will require at least three different groupings:  

  • Sun-loving plants that like their roots dry and thrive in faster-draining soil
  • Sun-loving plants that can tolerate “wet feet” in winter months, and thrive in heavier clay soils
  • Plants that can tolerate dry, shaded areas 

There is another consideration before heading to the local nursery or garden center: How will these plants be irrigated? Check the Plant Factors for each of the plants to make sure their water needs are all similar in each area. Read this previous Conservation Corner story for information about Plant Factors

Plants speak Latin 

Low water use plants and succulents

Many plants have similar names. Rely on their Latin names to ensure you are getting the correct plant for your landscaping plan. Photo: Water Authority

Many plants have similar common names in English. Shopping for plants by their common names can lead to confusion between two very different plants. Instead, the best way to shop for plants is to use the Latin name. This reduces surprises in your landscaping.  


This article was inspired by the 71-page Sustainable Landscapes Program guidebook available at The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including free WaterSmart classes at    




Trump Signs The Water Infrastructure Act

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan water infrastructure bill into law on Tuesday, authorizing billions of dollars for state-level projects aimed at improving the nation’s rivers, harbors, and drinking water. The law will also defund programs Congress deems “inefficient,” the Hill reports. Provisions that made the cut include funding for studies on wetland restoration and risk management in flood-prone areas, such as Tangier Island, Virginia; extending a program to improve contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan; prioritizing lead testing in low-income schools; and requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to appoint at least one employee to serve as a “liaison to minority, tribal, and low-income communities.”

OPINION: Here’s What Trump Gets Wrong About California’s Water Supply

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump fanned the flames of a long-standing debate in California between the state’s environmentalists and farmers. At the White House State Leadership Conference, Trump called California’s dry and fallow fields “one of the most ridiculous things” he saw on the campaign trail in 2016, when the state was still in the midst of a record-setting drought. At a campaign rally in Fresno that year, Trump claimed the government was “taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” and promised to deliver more water to Central Valley farmers.

Riverside County Says Its New Salton Sea Plan Could Bring Back Tourism, Generate $1 Billion In Tax Revenue

Riverside County is moving forward with a Salton Sea restoration plan that officials say could generate more than $1 billion in tax revenue, which would help fund construction of a permanent, horseshoe-shaped lake at the north end of the dying sea. The board of supervisors voted Tuesday to create an enhanced infrastructure financing district, or EIFD, that encompasses Mecca, North Shore, Oasis, Thermal and other unincorporated communities near the Salton Sea. If voters in the newly created district approve the plan, the county would issue bonds to fund construction of a so-called North Lake.

Sick Of Paying $5 For Bottled Water? Tap App Will Find You A Drinking Fountain Instead

The epiphany moment for Samuel Ian Rosen came when he found himself at an airport shelling out $5 for a bottle of Evian water. “Nobody up till now has built a Google Map for (drinking) water,” Rosen, a serial entrepreneur, said in an interview. “Finding water is inconvenient. When I go to Google Map and type ‘water fountain,’ there is nothing. We solve it by building Google Map for water….We are a search engine. We tell you where the water is.”

Austin Boil-Water Mandate Could Last Less Than A Week As City Faces Possible Shortage

Travis County emergency management officials told Austin residents on Tuesday they’ll need to boil their tap water for the next several days, and urged residents to cut water consumption as the city faces a potential shortage. In a meeting with county commissioners, Chief Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Carter said Austin Water could take 10 to 14 days to stabilize all three treatment plants and restore production to last week’s preflood levels.

Water Bond Would Spread Money Across The State — But Pour It On The Central Valley

Excessive groundwater pumping by San Joaquin Valley farmers has caused a stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal to sink so much that it has interfered with irrigation deliveries to more than 300,000 acres of cropland. A fix could come from Proposition 3, the water bond on the November ballot, which earmarks $750 million in state taxpayer funds to repair the aqueduct and other infrastructure damaged by land subsidence.

New App Aims To Help You Stop Buying Bottled Water

A new startup called Tap has a bold ambition: convince people to stop buying plastic bottles of water. Tap launched an app Tuesday that displays nearby clean drinking water locations, from restaurants and retail stores to public water fountains, so you can refill your water bottle. It’s like Google Maps for clean drinking water.


SDG&E Withdraws Counterproposal To Public Energy Alternative In San Diego

With a decision pending on whether the city of San Diego should adopt a government-run power program, San Diego Gas & Electric has notified city officials it is withdrawing from putting together a counterproposal to what is called Community Choice Aggregation. For the past two years, SDG&E has worked with city officials to create a program that would contract for increasing amounts of renewable energy to reach the city’s Climate Action Plan goal of 100 percent renewable sources by 2035.