Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

Before and after views of the Lake San Marocs Mall III Homeowners Association makeover. Photo: Vallecitos Water District makeover conserves water

Makeovers Conserve Water, Saves Costs for Lake San Marcos HOAs

Through a partnership between the Vallecitos Water District, San Diego County Water Authority, and the County of San Diego, landscape makeover projects in unincorporated areas can take advantage of water-use efficiency rebates as well as professional expertise to maximize conservation and cost savings. The Waterscape Rebate Program applies to residential, commercial, and agricultural customers who […]

The sustainable landscape demonstration garden at the Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s (OMWD) headquarters provides customers with examples of water-efficient landscaping techniques that can save water and money.

Demonstration Garden is Inspiration for Olivenhain MWD Customers

Using water efficiently is a way of life and an important responsibility in the San Diego region. Water users have learned how to make the most of every drop and avoid wasteful or careless habits. Homeowners are replacing impractical thirsty lawns with beautiful low-water-use landscaping. Over the past decade, residents have adopted habits that not […]

Earth Day-Earth Day 2023-Landscape Makeover-Water Conservation

Every Day is Earth Day for Water Agencies in San Diego County

“Invest in Our Planet” is the theme for Earth Day 2023. Investing in sustainable, local water supply sources and conservation has long been a way of life in San Diego County by water agencies and residents. “Investing in our planet can take many forms, and the challenges we face differ from community to community,” said […]

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Spruce Up Your Sprinklers in April

Californians gave their irrigation systems the winter off in much of 2023 thanks to above-average precipitation. As the weather warms, the U.S. EPA encourages everyone to perform a maintenance check in April as part of its “Sprinkler Spruce Up” effort. A sprinkler spruce-up involves four steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select. Cracks in pipes can […]

Otay Water District-2023 Landscape Makeover Contest

Otay Water District Opens 2023 Landscape Makeover Contest

The Otay Water District has launched its annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest as part of a continuing effort to encourage water conservation. Outdoor watering accounts for more than half of residential water use. The resident judged to have the most attractive, drought-toleranat garden receives a nursery gift card, among other prizes, and the title “Best in […]

Fix a Leak Week is a reminder every March to check indoor and outdoor plumbing systems for costly, wasteful water leaks. Graphic EPA WaterSense

Fix-A-Leak Week 2023 Saves Water, Environment

Fix a Leak Week is an opportunity for all water users to repair leaks and save our most precious resource.  The week (March 20-26) is a reminder every March to check indoor and outdoor plumbing systems for costly, wasteful water leaks. Increasing awareness of opportunities to repair leaks is supported by the San Diego County […]

In-person landscape workshop: This award winning landscape makeover in La Mesa shows a low water use design can be lush and colorful without turf.

In-Person Workshops Return for 2023 Landscape Makeover Program

The San Diego County Water Authority’s free WaterSmart Landscape Makeover workshops have helped thousands of San Diego County homeowners successfully convert high-water-use lawn areas to WaterSmart landscapes. For the first time since 2019, in-person landscape workshops return starting Saturday, March 18. Weekly sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon at The Water Conservation Garden, adjacent […]

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Save Water and Money with Free Water Efficiency Survey

Forecasts of a hotter, drier climate for the Southwest U.S. make every effort to save water critical. A new program now available intends to do just that for residents in parts of Southern California. The San Diego County Water Authority, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, are offering free indoor and […]

The Chens transformed their love for succulents into an award-winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Landscape Makeover Contest Open For 2023 Entries

The 2023 regional WaterSmart Landscape Makeover competition is open. The annual contest seeks the best in landscaping makeover projects from 12 participating San Diego County water agencies. Showcasing residential water-saving landscaping projects highlights water conservation efforts, as a hotter, drier climate is forecast for the region. Winning examples also help inform and inspire other homeowners […]

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Water Authority Helps Low-Income Customers With Water-Saving Devices

The San Diego County Water Authority has secured $3 million in grant funds to install water-saving devices  — water-efficient toilets and smart irrigation controllers — in underrepresented communities across the region, bolstering the agency’s long-running efforts to enhance water affordability. The Water Authority will use the money to install 7,300 high-efficiency toilets and smart irrigation […]

New for 2023, qualified residents can take advantage of the in-person “Designer At Your Door” technical design assistance program. Photo:

Landscape Makeover Program Adds New ‘Designer At Your Door’ Service

There is a new opportunity for San Diego County residents who want to save water through the WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program: “Designer At Your Door.” This new in-person service offers on-site and in-studio technical design assistance from landscape industry professionals for qualified residents. As 2023 begins with cool, rainy weather, now is the ideal time […]

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Free Online WaterSmart Landscape Design Workshops

As California enters a fourth straight year of drought, more residents are taking advantage of free, online webinars helping them create a beautiful, water-efficient outdoor landscape. New three-hour workshops are now scheduled through December, funded in part by the County of San Diego Watershed Protection Program. Taught by local landscape professionals, upcoming webinars focus on […]

To encourage water conservation as drought conditions persist, North County water district offer discounted rain barrels to area residents. Photo: Solana Center

Water Districts Offer Discounted Rain Barrels

Due to the persistence of California’s unprecedented megadrought, capturing rainfall when it occurs is a conservation priority. Several water districts in North San Diego County are offering discounted rain barrels. To encourage water conservation as drought conditions persist, the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Carlsbad Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, and Santa Fe Irrigation […]

The City of Escondido’s innovative water treatment and saving methods offers a model for other drought-stricken cities. Escondido recognized

City of Escondido Recognized as Water Saving Model

As California endures its worst drought in 1,200 years, San Diego County’s water industry has developed diversified sources and accelerated conservation practices to secure its water supply for the future. The City of Escondido’s innovative water treatment and saving methods offers a model for other drought-stricken cities. Escondido has led the San Diego region on […]


New State Tax Break and Lawn Removal Rebates Save Money, Water

Fall is the perfect time to yank those thirsty lawns and install drought-tolerant landscapes with the help of cooler days and major financial incentives. Homeowners and businesses in San Diego County can receive between $2 and $4 per square foot for removing grass and replacing it with low water-use plants that are better suited to […]