Posts

WaterSmart Landscape Contest-The Nieves family of Bonita won the Sweetwater Authority's 2019 Landscape Makeover Contest for theier creative WaterSmart landscaping design. Photo: Sweetwater Authority 2021 Landscape Makeover

2022 WaterSmart Landscape Contest Open For Entries

One dozen San Diego County water agencies are looking for the best in landscaping makeover projects for the 2022 regional WaterSmart landscape competition. This annual competition showcases residential water-saving landscaping projects to inform and inspire other homeowners to consider replacing their turf-based yard designs.

The contest deadline for all participating agencies is Friday, May 13. Homeowners may submit their entry online through their water agency. Entrants must live within a water agency boundary to participate. Each agency winner receives a $250 gift certificate and recognition on the agency website and social media channels.

Participating agencies in 2022 include California American Water, the cities of Escondido and Oceanside, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rincon Del Diablo Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, and the Vista Irrigation District.

Turf removal saves an estimated 36 million gallons annually

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

El Cajon homeowner Christine Laframboise’s water saving landscape design trading turf for a less thirsty approach is the Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest winner. Pboto: Otay Water District

Most residential water use in San Diego County is used outdoors, primarily to water landscaping. When yards contain a large amount of turf, it can significantly increase overall water consumption. This is why conservation education efforts focus on replacing turf.

By showcasing how beautiful landscapes without grass can be through the WaterSmart Landscape Contest, homeowners can share their creativity and demonstrate how attractive WaterSmart landscaping can be.

“San Diego County homeowners are moving toward beautiful, sustainable landscapes and away from water-intensive lawns as the default choice,” said Joni German, San Diego County Water Authority water resources specialist. “Through ongoing education and through the examples people see around them, homeowners can see that water-efficient landscapes can be beautiful, lush, colorful, and thrive in our region. This contest is a great way to showcase the efforts homeowners regionwide have made to create these incredible outdoor spaces.”

Additional benefits of watersmart landscaping

Colorful, waterwise plants replaced a thirsty, labor intensive front lawn in Deborah Brant's winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

Colorful, water-wise plants replaced a thirsty, labor-intensive front lawn in Deborah Brant’s winning landscape makeover. Photo: Vista Irrigation District

  • Creating a garden to live in as well as look at by adding outdoor rooms for your favorite activities.
  • Drought-tolerant plants can be used to define spaces instead of buildings and walls.
  • Cultivating native plants for San Diego County’s Mediterranean climate zones, including ground covers, grasses, succulents, perennials, shrubs, vines, and trees.

Free landscape makeover classes offered by Water Authority

The Brants took advantage of the San Diego County Water Authority's Landscape Makeover classes to help them plan their project. Photo: City of Escondido

The Brants took advantage of the San Diego County Water Authority Landscape Makeover classes to help them plan their project. Photo: City of Escondido

The Water Authority offers free options to help homeowners plan their makeovers. Homeowners can get started with the Water Authority’s free three-hour introductory landscaping workshops scheduled on weeknights and Saturdays. The workshops are held virtually.

The Water Authority’s free WaterSmart Landscape Makeover four-class workshop series offers more specific planning for homeowners.  See the course page for the most current schedule and to sign up.

(Editor’s Note: The City of Escondido, the City of Oceanside, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rincon Del Diablo Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, and Vista Irrigation District are 11 of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

Escondido to Get $1.75 M Rebate

The city of Escondido is being sent a rebate of $1,754,023 by the San Diego County Water Authority, of which Escondido is a member agency. The Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District, which also serves parts of Escondido, was sent a rebate of $630,781. This week the Water Authority’s Board of Directors voted to distribute a rebate of $44.4 million to its 24 member agencies across the region after receiving a check for that amount from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay legal damages and interest.

Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir to Improve Water Reliability

The San Diego County Water Authority is gearing up to construct a 2.1 million-gallon drinking water reservoir on the Valley Center Pipeline to enhance service reliability throughout the region. The Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir project in northern San Diego County is part of the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program. Construction work is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and is estimated to be completed in the winter of 2022.

Rincon del Diablo MWD’s David Drake Honored with Industry Icon Award

David Drake, Treasurer of the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District Board of Directors, was recently recognized with the 2020 Industry Icon Award by Water and Wastes Digest, an industry-related technical magazine which covers breaking news and new developments in water and wastewater products, projects, and technology.

David Drake-Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District-Industry Icon

Rincon del Diablo MWD’s David Drake Honored with Industry Icon Award

David Drake, Treasurer of the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District Board of Directors, was recently recognized with the 2020 Industry Icon Award by Water and Wastes Digest, an industry-related technical magazine which covers breaking news and new developments in water and wastewater products, projects, and technology.

The award, which is open to engineers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, designers, administrators or other water and wastewater professionals, recognizes an individual’s passion for the water and wastewater treatment industry, dedication beyond normal work hours, and compassion for their local community.

A long-time resident of Escondido and the Vice President of Hadronex, Drake was first appointed in 2006 to the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District Board of Directors and has served four consecutive terms of service.

Industry Icon – 30 year career in the water and wastewater industry

Drake, along with his business partner, Greg Quist, started Hadronex Inc., also known as SmartCover Systems, with a dedication to the development of a solution that promised to provide reliable wastewater collection system visibility.  This led to a collaborative design of the first real-time remote monitoring system designed specifically to prevent sewer spills. Today, many wastewater utilities have come to depend on SmartCover for proactive predictions and notifications to help prevent sewer overflows.

“I was so surprised and very honored to receive Water & Wastes Digest’s Industry Icon award,” said Drake. “This award would not have been possible without support from my business associates and colleagues. Thank you to the teams at SmartCover, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, and California Joint Powers Insurance Authority who supported and motivated me to reach my goals.”

Serving as a mentor to those in the water and waste water communities as well as the community in which he lives, Drake says that there are three components to successfully reach an end goal: Attack the problem – not the people; assume you don’t have all the answers; and, give people a mission.

Problem solving genius

“Rincon Water is fortunate to have David Drake on its Board of Directors,” said Diana Towne, a member of the Rincon’s Board of Directors.  “David is a one-of-a-kind, think outside the box, problem solving genius with an unfeigned interest in listening to what everyone has to say.  He is not just an icon in the water and wastewater business, he is a dedicated, honorable public servant.”

With an electrical engineering degree from the California Institute of Technology and a Master of Science Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, Drake started working in the water industry in 1990 as a City of Escondido representative with the San Diego County Water Authority. In 2002, Drake became the Vice President of Engineering for PointSource Technologies where he managed the real-time detection of microorganisms.

In addition to serving as Rincon Water’s Board Treasurer, Drake is also on the Fire/Emergency preparedness Committee, Sewer Committee, and the Audit Committee. He also serves on the Association of California Water Agencies’ Energy Committee, is Rincon Water’s representative to the ACWA Joint Powers Insurance Authority and is on the ACWA/JPIA Worker’s Compensation Committee.

SmartCover-David Drake-Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District

Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District Board of Directors Treasurer David Drake (R) with his SmartCover Systems business partner Greg Quist (L). Photo: Alicia Jeanne Photography

Local Leaders Discuss Impacts of Water Conservation Laws

Four elected officials representing area water districts expressed frustration with state laws aimed at water conservation during an American Liberty Forum of Ramona informational meeting Saturday, June 27.

Roughly 50 attendees gathered at Ramona Mainstage to hear the “Water Regulations Today and Tomorrow” presenters discuss the pending impacts of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668, which were signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown in May 2018.