Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

Homeowner Jeff Moore's back yard zen garden featuring his landscape work fit beautifully into his area's climate zone. Photo: Water Authority climate zone

Match Your Climate Zone to Your Landscaping Plan

Making smart decisions about your landscape design and your plant choices relies in large part on your climate zone. San Diego County’s six different climate zones vary in their average conditions. By choosing wisely, you can minimize the need for artificial irrigation and still create a beautiful, sustainable landscape. The California Irrigation Management Information System […]

Fruit trees, especially citrus, thrive in San Diego County’s climates with just a little bit of care. The Pineapple Guava (Acca sellowiana) is a good choice with spectacular blooms. Photo: WIkimedia/Creative Commons License Edible Plants climate zone

Sustainable Gardeners, Get Into Your Climate Zone

People around the world know San Diego for its beautiful, sunny, and mild weather. San Diego residents know our daily weather has more variety than visitors might imagine. Climate is defined as the average weather conditions in an area over a long period, generally 30 years or more. German climate scientist Wladimir Koppen first divided […]

Matilija poppies, or Romneya coulteri, have the largest flower of any poppy. It's native to dry, sunny areas from California to Baja and are good choiices for successful sustanable landscaping. Photo: Kimberly Rotter / Pixabay

Follow Four Key Principles for Successful Sustainable Landscaping

Efficient water use is an important responsibility that comes along with the benefits of living in San Diego County’s beautiful Mediterranean climate. No matter whether your landscaping is just a few square feet alongside a small front porch, or covers many acres on a luxury estate, San Diego County residents have learned to embrace sustainability […]

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Lawn Rebates for Fall Planting Season

Fall planting season is underway and a great time to take advantage of rebates for replacing your lawn. “Fall is like a second spring for planting in our region and it’s also a great opportunity for residents to take advantage of some outdoor incentives as they replace grass with climate appropriate plants,” said Joni German, […]

Brian Idekler of O'Connell Landscape Maintenance installs a flow control sensor for the San Elijo HOA. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program Benefits San Elijo HOA

A major landscape makeover is helping a San Diego County neighborhood save money during these uncertain economic times. The WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program helps qualified landscape contractors as well as large homeowners associations, save money and improve water-use efficiency in large landscapes by retrofitting irrigation devices. The San Diego County Water Authority and the Vallecitos […]

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New Water Recycling Videos on National Recycling Day

National Recycling Day on November 15 celebrates and promotes recycling practices to reduce waste and decrease energy demands, ultimately preventing pollution and fighting climate change. This year, the Water Authority partnered with the Southern California Water Coalition to promote water recycling. National Recycling Day brings new video series The Water Authority and other SCWC members, […]

San Marcos coffee farmer Kyle Rosa walks through his 2.5 acre property. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Helps San Marcos Coffee Farmer Brew Success

San Diego County agriculture is well-known for citrus and avocados. Kyle Rosa is counting on coffee joining this list. Rosa, owner of Bluetail Coffee Grove, started growing coffee on a 2.5-acre farm in San Marcos last year. After 15 years in the finance industry, Rosa and his wife moved from San Francisco to start their […]

El Camino Real Infrastructure Project Reaches Milestone

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District project to replace aging water infrastructure along El Camino Real in Encinitas has now reached the halfway point. After getting underway in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the project is making steady progress. District officials expect the entire project to be completed in Spring 2021.

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La Niña and California’s New Water Year

It’s that time of the year in California, when water managers, climatologists and meteorologists look at the factors that determine what the winter will bring during Water Year 2020-21 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently said that La Niña conditions are present in the tropical Pacific, “with […]

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WaterSmart Landscape Contest Winner Creates Wildlife Habitat

The winner of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest created a wildlife habitat by removing grass and replacing it with climate-appropriate plants. The District’s Board of Directors honored Laura Lisauskas as the winner of the contest during its September 9 meeting. Lisauskas purchased her home in 2018 and decided to remove the […]

First place, High Schools: Sofia Perez Valles, 12th Grade, Olympian High School. Photo: Otay WD poster contest

Otay Water District Poster Contest Winners Illustrate Water-Use Efficiency

Six student artists from schools in the Otay Water District’s service area were named as winners of the district’s 2020 Water is Life Student Poster Contest. Entries were selected as those best demonstrating creativity and awareness of water-use efficiency through art. The annual contest is one of many educational programs offered by the district as […]

The winning landscape makeover features a lush palette of plants in place of a thirsty lawn. Photo: City of Escondido waterwise landscaping

Waterwise Landscaping Blooms in Escondido

A lush native garden low on water use but not on style won first place in the City of Escondido’s 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. To encourage customers to reduce outdoor water use, the City of Escondido recognizes its customers whose yards best exhibit the beauty of California-friendly, low-water gardening in the annual competition. Winners Todd […]

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Rebates for WaterSmart Irrigation Devices

Rebates for WaterSmart irrigation devices are available in San Diego County to help property owners reduce expenses by improving water efficiency. The rebates, offered for a limited time by the San Diego County Water Authority, provide significant savings on devices for outdoor landscapes. The WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program, or WSCIP, helps commercial, public and agricultural […]

The beautiful, wheelchair accessible garden inspired by Patricia Wood's daughter Kimberly is the 2020 Otay Water District Landscape Contest winner. Photo: Otay Water District

Accessible Garden Wins Otay Water District WaterSmart Landscape Contest

El Cajon resident Patricia Wood, inspired by her daughter Kimberly, transformed a thirsty lawn into a wheelchair accessible garden, winning “Best in District” in the Otay Water District 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. Wood’s landscape demonstrates a well thought-out design, methods for efficient irrigation, and appropriate plant selection and maintenance. “The one thing that really inspired me […]

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 […]