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Native plants can add beautiful color to your sustainable landscape, while attracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Image: Water Authority

Design a Native Garden

If you haven’t finished planting your sustainable garden yet this year, you still have some time. Choose native plants that will thrive in the arid San Diego County climate.

Native plants are naturally drought-tolerant. They also support local ecosystems by providing food and habitat for pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Native plants can fall into one of many categories: trees, succulents, perennials, shrubs, grasses, groundcovers and more.

Create your sustainable garden

Each type of plant serves a different purpose in a sustainable garden.

Trees are a great way to provide natural shade. They also catch water that runs off your roof when it rains.

Perennials often have colorful flowers that bring beautiful colors for your garden.

Groundcovers and shrubs are great for covering dry slopes and catching rainwater.

Succulents look great next to rocks or other features in your garden and are usually low-maintenance.

Need ideas for your new sustainable garden this spring?

The California Native Plant Society-San Diego Chapter will conduct its eighth annual Garden Tour, The Artful California Native Garden: Native Gardens and Art Tour of East County on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Demonstrations will include how to add dry stream-bed bioswales, adjacent natural areas, water catchment devices, slope gardens, charming water features, bridges, sculptures and more in your garden.

Local artists will be meeting and greeting guests in many of the gardens and selling their California native garden themed artwork and crafts.

Tours of private residential gardens

Twelve private residential gardens will be visited on the tour, and their owners will be on-site to answer questions. At the Water Conservation Garden there will be guided demonstrations for planting and tours of the native plant garden.

When: Saturday, April 4, 2020, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon, 92019

Cost: $30 – $40

Vactor Truck-Leucadia Wastewater District-

Water Agencies Team Up to Reduce Potable Water Use

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Leucadia Wastewater District are reducing potable water use by switching to recycled water to flush sewer lines in their service areas.

With the recent installation of new equipment by both agencies, recycled water is now available to Leucadia for sewer line maintenance in the Village Park neighborhood in Encinitas and in the La Costa neighborhood in Carlsbad.

Regular flushing is important for gravity-fed sewer line maintenance. The process involves filling a specialized sewer cleaning vehicle, known as a vactor truck, with water and injecting the water into a sewer main. Flushing the pipes in proper working condition extends their lifetime by removing materials such as grease and roots, which can cause clogs and sewage overflows. Once flushed, a pipeline can be inspected and its condition assessed.

Recycled water, not potable water, now used to flush sewer lines

Prior to this project, Leucadia did not have access to recycled water in Olivenhain’s service area, instead filling vactor trucks with potable water. Leucadia identified the opportunity to reduce potable water use and save its ratepayers money, and approached Olivenhain about creating points at which the wastewater district could fill trucks with recycled water. Five locations throughout Encinitas and Carlsbad were selected.

“It’s a pleasure to partner with neighboring agencies for the common good,” said Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board President Ed Sprague stated. “Simple changes such as these add up and help ensure a reliable water supply for future generations.”

Regional partnership conserves drinking water

“Leucadia is excited to continue its regional partnership with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District,” said David Kulchin, Leucadia’s board president. “Using recycled water to clean sewer pipelines not only saves precious potable water supplies but continues our efforts to utilize renewable resources to the maximum extent possible.”

In addition to sewer line flushing, municipal street sweeping vehicles that were previously using potable water will be able to access recycled water thanks to the new connections. In accordance with state regulations governing recycled water use, the vactor trucks and street sweeping vehicles will have separate filling systems for potable and recycled water.

Approximately 14% of Olivenhain’s overall water demand is met with recycled water. Olivenhain produces up to two million gallons per day of recycled water at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility and supplements additional demand with recycled water purchased from Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District, City of San Diego, Vallecitos Water District, and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority.

Otay Water District Instagram Contest Winners Get Social About Water

The Otay Water District named eight winners of its first Instagram photo contests, asking customers to depict two distinct themes.

In the first contest, four Otay Water District customers were selected winners of the agency’s first Instagram photo contest, “Thankful for Water.” During the 2019 holiday season, Instagrammers were invited to submit photos reflecting their appreciation for water.

How is Climate Change Affecting Winter in My Region?

Winters are getting warmer and shorter. Here’s the impact in your area.

“Dear Sara,

I would like to read your prediction of the effects of climate change on the traditional four weather seasons.”

New Data Show Nearly 10% of California is in Moderate Drought

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that 9.5% of California is considered to be in moderate drought. The abnormally dry area, which includes the drought area, has expanded from about 34% to 46%.

The dry area on the new map has spread southward to include most of Los Angeles County, much of Kern and San Luis Obispo counties and all of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

First place winner CM Photography said of her winning photo, “I am thankful for water for many reasons, first it helps keep humans alive. But second, I am thankful for water because it creates beautiful things and landscapes as shown in my image. It creates clouds, lush lands and a beautiful home for sea creatures. I am thankful for everything water gives me and our aina we live on.” Otay Instagram contest winners

Otay Water District Instagram Contest Winners Get Social About Water

The Otay Water District named eight winners of its first Instagram photo contests, asking customers to depict two distinct themes.

In the first contest, four Otay Water District customers were selected winners of the agency’s first Instagram photo contest, “Thankful for Water.” During the 2019 holiday season, Instagrammers were invited to submit photos reflecting their appreciation for water.

“It might be formula, but it’s also tap water! Keeping baby healthy!” wrote first place winner Alisha Woodman. Instagram photo contest

“It might be formula, but it’s also tap water! Keeping baby healthy!” wrote Alisha Woodman, who won for the most “likes.”

One photo captured the use of water preparing for a holiday meal. Many people submitted wildlife and landscape photos. And, of course, there were selfies. Though the entry image choices varied, all depicted a precious resource — water — needed during the holiday season and year-round.

The second contest in December asked participants to submit photos with the theme “Drink Tap December.”  The focus was the importance of drinking safe and reliable tap water. Entries included a photo of the ocean beneath a pier, representing how tap water helps keep the ocean plastic-free; a toddler enjoying a bottle of milk made with water from the tap; and a photo from a demonstration in Tanzania on the difference between clean and unclean water.

“A moment that truly touched my heart. Seeing the difference between clean and unclean tap water, making a clay pot that will filter tap water and getting to meet the Masai family who will benefit from my gift that prevents typhoid and water borne diseases. We are fortunate to live in a country that has clean water. Only half of Tanzania’s 22 million people have access to clean drinking water,” said winner Margaret Meyer of Chula Vista. Instagram contest winners

“A moment that truly touched my heart. Seeing the difference between clean and unclean tap water, making a clay pot that will filter tap water and getting to meet the Masai family who will benefit from my gift that prevents typhoid and water borne diseases. We are fortunate to live in a country that has clean water. Only half of Tanzania’s 22 million people have access to clean drinking water,” said winner Margaret Minor of Chula Vista.

“I am just thrilled to win,” said first-place winner Margaret Minor, of Chula Vista, within the District’s service area. “My heart was truly touched to donate a water filter while in Tanzania to a Masai family in need of the things we take for granted like clean and safe drinking water.”

Four winners from each contest were chosen based on two categories: photos receiving the most “likes,” and photos selected by District staff based on originality, creativity, and theme. First and second place winners received gift cards to business in the District’s service area.

Additional winners in the “Thankful for Water” category:

Additional winners in the “Drink Tap December” competition:

 

To see all entries, go to the Otay Water District’s Instagram feed.