All Features

Behind-the-scenes stories about regional water issues, projects, and people.

Landscape makeover-Escondido-landscape checklist-water conservation

Sustainable Landscaping Project Checklist for Success

When you’re beginning a sustainable landscaping project, it can be challenging to remember all the things you need to research, measure, and decide along the way. But it’s not a good idea to overlook these details. They all contribute to the success of your new sustainable landscaping project. WaterSmart San Diego’s Sustainable Landscaping Guide has […]

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San Diego Radio DJs Promote WaterSmart Lifestyles

Well-known local radio DJs Geena the Latina from Channel 93.3, Beto Perez from Jam’n 95.7 and Tati from Star 94.1, are teaming up with the San Diego County Water Authority this summer to thank San Diegans for using water wisely and are encouraging residents to keep our region drought-safe. While drought conditions persist across the […]

Gary Croucher-Board Chair-San Diego County Water Authority-Primary

Local Renewable Energy Project Gets Big Boost

I’m so pleased to report that a large-scale renewable energy project proposed jointly by the City of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority received $18 million in the state budget signed this month by Gov. Gavin Newsom. That money will advance the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility through initial design, environmental reviews, […]

Lauren Grey's new landscaping filled with vibrant blooming plants is the 2021 Vista Irrigation District Landscape Makeover Contest winner. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

Trio of Waterwise Landscapes Win Vista 2021 Contest

Three homeowners in the Vista Irrigation District won recognition recently from the VID board of directors in its 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient irrigation methods. Winning plan solves erosion problem with beautiful blooms The “Best in […]

Native plant-sustainability-garden-landscapetracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Image: Water Authority

Setting Objectives for Waterwise Landscaping Success

It takes time to learn about the concepts behind the watershed approach to creating a healthy and sustainable landscape. Once you have these concepts mastered, the most important step of all comes next.  Consider the goals you want to achieve in your garden for landscaping success. It might be difficult to know where to start. […]

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Hard Work Pays Off for Padre Dam Landscape Makeover Winner

Frank Edward’s Santee home is bursting with bright colors and textures. Vibrant yellow, orange, red, green, and purple flowers, and drought-tolerant, native plants spring to life where there was once just dry and patchy grass. “It was a lot of hard work but it was also a lot of fun,” said Edward. “It was great […]

Landscape Makeover-Sweetwater Authority-Water Conservation-native plants

Contouring Tips Help You Make the Grade

Moving both irrigation and our limited natural rainfall through your yard into storage areas via the use of various landscaping features borrow Mother Nature’s engineering. This is especially important during hot, dry summer months. If your yard is perfectly flat, you must move soil and features around to create more water-retaining contour areas. First, complete […]

Native plants-drought-City of Escondido-Landscape Makeover

Native Plants Garden Wins 2021 Escondido Landscape Makeover Contest

As California experiences another drought cycle, homeowners in the San Diego region continue to makeover their landscapes with native plants that need less water. An Escondido couple recently transformed their landscape to save water and won the City of Escondido Landscape Makeover Contest too. Escondido homeowners Michael and Teresa Everett first learned about the 2021 […]

El Cajon homeowner-Otay Water District-2021 Landscape Makeover Contest

El Cajon Homeowner Wins Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

El Cajon homeowner Christine Laframboise’s water-saving landscape design trading turf for a less thirsty approach was named the Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest winner. The annual contest is held by water agencies throughout San Diego County to award one resident from their respective service area for their water-saving landscape. Otay selected Laframboise for […]

Native plants-New landscaping-room to grow-plants-Conservation Corner

Provide Room to Grow in Your Sustainable Landscape Plan

Note the height and width of plant species when they mature when choosing plants for new sustainable landscapes. Proper plant placement, taking into account the mature plant’s size, will limit the need for regular pruning, and reduce the amount of maintenance required over time. While regular pruning and removal of dead plant materials is vital […]

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Vallecitos Employee Encourages Veterans to Work in Water Industry

Vallecitos Water District Senior Pump and Motor Technician Dale Austin is a strong advocate and one-person recruiting program, encouraging military veterans to consider water and wastewater industry careers. As an eighth-generation military veteran with 20 years of service, he successfully transitioned to his current profession and wants to help others do the same. “Every job […]

Fire-adapted, drought deciduous plants flourish in California coastal sage scrub. Photo: Couleur/Pixabay Native plant communities

Native Plant Communities in Sustainable Landscaping

Plants growing wild naturally arrange themselves into communities with other plant varieties based on their shared characteristics such as water and nutrient needs. This natural selection extends to interactions with each other, and with other species such as insects, birds, and other animals. As a result, we see the same plant communities occurring repeatedly in […]

Helix Water District-Lake Jennings-Winners-Photo Contest

Lake Jennings 2021 Spring Photo Contest Winners Depict Life At The Lake

The theme “Life at the Lake” inspired 61 photographers to enter the 2021 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, held for the 10th year by the Helix Water District. Photographer Johnathan Bradley of Lemon Grove won first place for his image titled “Open Field” and second place for the photo “Sun Star.” Third place went to […]

Hagekhalil-Water Authority-MWD-Come Together

MWD GM Hagekhalil: “We Need to Work Together”

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors welcomed new Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Adel Hagekhalil at its June 24 meeting. Hagekhalil was greeted with applause and smiles during the meeting and at a reception at the Water Authority’s San Diego headquarters. Board Chair Gary Croucher called Hagekhalil’s appointment a […]

Sweetwater Authority-Landscape Makeover-Native Plants-Drought

Native Plants Highlight Sweetwater Landscape Contest Winner

Chula Vista resident Paul Rodriguez gave up struggling to maintain his thirsty green lawn in favor of a new landscape design featuring California native plants and shrubs. The Sweetwater Authority Board of Directors selected Rodriguez’s makeover as its 2021 Landscape Makeover winner. The WaterSmart Landscape Contest is an opportunity for homeowners to showcase landscape designs […]