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Bright Ideas Bring Padre Dam MWD Landscape Contest Winner to Life

Santee homeowners removed grass, replaced the turf with a colorful, WaterSmart landscape, and won a landscape makeover contest too.

Melissa and Josh Perrell’s new landscaping at their Santee home is bursting with bright colors. Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes. Even more impressive, it didn’t take a single drop of irrigation over the past year to keep it thriving. The Perrells makeover project was selected by Padre Dam Municipal Water District as its 2020 Landscape Makeover Contest winner.

Local Congressional Delegation Introduce Border Water Restoration Act in House

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and other local Congress members introduced the Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act of 2020 Friday to address pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border and improve the water quality of both the Tijuana and New rivers.

In Colorado’s Climate-Change Hot Spot, the West’s Water is Evaporating

On New Year’s Day in 2018, Paul Kehmeier and his father drove up Grand Mesa until they got to the county line, 10,000 feet above sea level. Instead of the three to five feet of snow that should have been on the ground, there wasn’t enough of a dusting to even cover the grass.

Poseidon’s Desalination Plan for Huntington Beach Delayed Again

After years of bureaucratic hurdles and increasing regulatory requirements, Poseidon Water was dealt yet another delay Friday, Aug. 7, in its pursuit of a controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach.  The Regional Water Quality Control Board concluded three days of hearings on the project’s next permit by telling Poseidon it must return with a more robust, more detailed mitigation plan to offset the environmental damage the project will cause.

Utilities Want to Use EPA Chemicals Law to Protect Drinking Water

A pair of water associations are teaming up to urge the EPA to use all its regulatory tools to safeguard drinking water as it decides whether to allow new chemicals into U.S. commerce.

The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), which represents state, tribal, and territorial water agency officials, recently joined the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, which represents publicly owned metropolitan drinking water suppliers, to routinely flag their concerns about new chemicals to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Decline in Hydropower Hampered by Drought Will Impact Utility Costs

Hydroelectric power from dams usually provides about 15% of California’s electricity needs. But in 2015, at the zenith of the worst drought in California’s recorded history, it supplied only 6%.

SCW Given Contract for North River Road Sewer Repairs

SCW Contracting Corporation was awarded the Rainbow Municipal Water District contract for the first phase of the North River Road Land Outfall pipeline repairs.

The July 28 Rainbow board meeting included a 5-0 vote to award the work to SCW, which is based in the town of Rainbow. The contract will be for $474,000.

Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes in this award-winning landscape makeover in Santee. Photo: Padre Dam MWD

Bright Ideas Bring Padre Dam MWD Landscape Contest Winner to Life

Santee homeowners removed grass, replaced the turf with a colorful, WaterSmart landscape, and won a landscape makeover contest too.

Melissa and Josh Perrell’s new landscaping at their Santee home is bursting with bright colors. Vibrant pink, orange, purple and red succulents are interspersed among lush rosemary and lavender bushes. Even more impressive, it didn’t take a single drop of irrigation over the past year to keep it thriving.

The Perrells makeover project was selected by Padre Dam Municipal Water District as its 2020 Landscape Makeover Contest winner.

The Perrells landscaping prior to its makeover. Photo: Padre Dam MWD landscape

The Perrells landscaping prior to its makeover. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

The Perrells decided to remove their lawn about two years ago. They wanted a low-water option that would look healthy year-round and require little maintenance. They were tired of spending time mowing it and using large amounts of water to keep the grass alive only to see it get brown during summer months.

The couple learned about the Turf Replacement Rebate Program and applied for the program. To remain within the budget provided, they decided to tackle the installation themselves. This gave them the opportunity to design their own landscape, support local businesses, and choose their own plants. The rebate is now up to $3 per square foot.

The Perrells chose easy care plants they would not have to prune or maintain. Photo: Padre Dam MWD landscape

The Perrells chose easy care plants they would not have to prune or maintain. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

“We chose plants that were hardy so we wouldn’t need to replace them or do too much maintenance,” said Melissa Perrell. “We also incorporated rosemary and lavender because we think it’s neat to be able to cook with and use the plants that you have.”

One week to a beautiful new watersmart landscape

The project took one year from start to finish. Photo: Padre Dam MWD

The project took one year from start to finish. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

After planning and designing their dream front yard, the Perrells spent four days removing their turf, installing rocks, installing irrigation, planting, and laying mulch.

They used a local nursery to select plants that fit their style and budget. By working straight through the process, their landscape completely transformed in less than a week. Their DIY cost-saving approach meant that they were reimbursed for 100% of the cost of their new front yard through the rebate program.

The Perrells enjoy compliments from Santee neighbors on their new landscape design. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

Melissa Perrell loves the low-maintenance needed to keep the new landscape looking its best with no pruning or trimming, and the different heights and colors of the plants. While they have a drip irrigation system in place, the Perrells were able to turn it off and let their landscape be completely watered naturally last year. They recently turned the system on again as the weather began to heat up at the end of June.

“It’s cool that it was something we were able to do together,” said Melissa Perrell. “It’s fun because our neighbors watched us put it in and now when we see them they say ‘Your yard’s looking really nice!'” Read more