Conservation Corner

Tips, resources and news about water-use efficiency

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Water Authority Prepares to Activate Water Shortage Contingency Plan

The San Diego County Water Authority is preparing to activate Level 1 – Voluntary Conservation of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in support of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts to sustain California after two record-dry years. The agency’s 36-member Board of Directors will decide at its formal monthly meeting on Oct. 28 whether to activate the […]

Every drop of water is precious. Maximizing irrigation efficiency goes a long way toward conserving our water resources. Photo: Ju Irun / Pixabay

Boost Your Irrigation IQ

To support and protect your investment in waterwise landscaping, you need to have a strong irrigation IQ and understand the basics. You’ll be able to best maintain and maximize your system’s efficiency, which is vitally important during times of drought in the San Diego region. Conventional irrigation systems can be inefficient Well-designed and operated systems […]

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Choosing Your Best Irrigation Method: Spray or Drip

Your choices in irrigation methods come down to spray or drip systems. Spray irrigation emits water in an overlapping pattern. Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of plants. This question is more important than ever during a drought cycle. How do you decide which meets the needs of your landscaping? The case for […]

Inspect your sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are not obstructed or watering onto pavement or other hardscapes. Photo: Irrigation Association

Give Your Irrigation System a Fall Checkup

Staying on top of your irrigation system – especially in the midst of a drought – can mean the difference between maximizing your water efficiency and unknowingly wasting water running down sidewalks unused into the storm drain. Follow these tips for a thorough checkup. Turn on each valve of your irrigation system and observe how […]

A large tree's roots are concentrated at the dripline, not at the trunk. This is where you should irrigate the tree through a slow release technique. Photo: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay tree watering tips

Borrow Tree Watering Tips from Mother Nature

As drought continues to affect California, homeowners must balance two needs: preserving landscaping with irrigation while doing so as efficiently as possible to conserve water. Even when not in a drought, trees planted in a Mediterranean climate often need additional water. For the most effective irrigation, mimic the way Mother Nature provides water. Nature designed […]

Following a few smart irrigation tips will make the most of the water applied to your landscaping. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Smart Landscape Irrigation Tips Save Water

During drought, it’s more important than ever to conserve water used for irrigation. When you follow just a few smart landscaping irrigation tips, you can get the most from every drop of water applied to your landscaping. Don’t overspray your landscaping Watch your irrigation while the system is running. Check to make sure sprinkler heads […]

Efficient irrigation-landscaping-Conservation Corner aspects of sustainable landscaping can help you ensure the success of your project. Photo: Water Authority

Efficient Irrigation Delivers Water While Protecting Plants

Due to the lack of rainfall in the San Diego region, even sustainable landscaping sometimes relies on artificial irrigation. Irrigation systems must be thoughtfully designed, installed, and programmed. Once in place, the many interconnected mechanical elements must be maintained properly for optimal performance. “Irrigation efficiency” is a way of describing how well your irrigation system […]

Healthy trees provide tremendous environmental and community benefits, and require a minimal investment in water to stay healthy. Photo: Valiphotos / Pexels tree care tips

Tree Care Tips Preserve Benefits During Drought  

Trees are among the most valuable investment in San Diego County’s landscape – including your own waterwise landscaping. Trees stand out as key performers in your landscape design for multiple reasons. No other landscape plant offers greater benefits to your landscape and the greater environment. Investing in tree maintenance is vital to keep them healthy. […]

Saving water-water bank-Conservation Cornerrainy day can be used later. Photo": Werner Jukel / Pixabay Bank your water savings

Bank Your Water Savings for the Future

Using landscape irrigation efficiently can significantly reduce overall household water consumption while leaving adequate water in the ground to cover your plants’ needs. One tool that can help is to build up your water savings when rainfall is available. Approximately half of the water spent by average California homes is used outdoors, mostly for irrigation. […]

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Become a Compost Champion

Once your sustainable landscape makeover is in place, commit to best practices in maintenance. This includes regular composting. Compost can also be used as mulch, applied directly to the soil surface. It can prevent erosion and help plants, and soil filter pollution, especially hydrocarbons and metals from road surfaces. Most greenwaste-based composts can be applied […]

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Check Before Overwatering Your Landscaping

Do you know if your landscaping really needs water? Even if you have waterwise irrigation on a properly timed schedule for your individual landscaping plan, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s really needed. You could be wasting water assuming it’s necessary. Appearances can be misleading. Rely on data from an old-school method of […]

Carefully selected trees are the most valuable addition to your sustainable landscaping. Photo: Helix Water District Trees Landscaping

Trees: Landscaping MVP (Most Valuable Plant)

New waterwise landscaping represents a significant investment in time and cost. Trees stand out as the most valuable players in your landscape design. No other landscape plant offers greater benefits to your landscape and the environment as a whole. Trees save energy and clean the air.  They counteract the urban heat island effect and fight […]

Landscape professionals can help advise you on planning your waterwise landscape and choice of plants. Photo: Anna Shvetsova / Pexels professional guidance

Getting Professional Guidance on Your Sustainable Landscaping

With the help of resources such as the San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Landscape Makeover classes, video on demand, and Sustainable Landscape Guide, many homeowners feel prepared to create a beautiful new sustainable landscape on their own. But sometimes, it’s a smart idea to call on professionals trained in different aspects of the watershed […]

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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 […]

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. […]