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Proposed Changes to County Landscape Ordinance Would Reduce Water Use by 40%

The County’s Planning & Development Services is preparing to release draft documents for public review this week related to the project called Water Efficiency Updates to the Landscape Ordinance.

This project will update the County’s Landscape Ordinance to codify requirements set forth by the County’s Climate Action Plan Measures W-1.2 and A-2.1. PDS began implementing these requirements upon approval of the CAP in 2018 through the CAP Development Checklist and existing landscape review process within PDS.

 One result of the ordinance will be to reduce outdoor water use in new and existing residential and non-residential landscaping 40% from 2014 levels.

CVWD Offering Rebates for Washing Machines, Hot Water Pumps

Coachella Valley Water District is now offering two new water efficiency rebates for residential customers who install a new high-efficiency washing machine or a hot water recirculating pump in their home.

“We are excited to offer these new programs to our customers to increase their efficiency,” said Katie Evans, Director of Communications and Conservation at CVWD. “Many of our customers have already taken advantage of all of our existing programs and we pleased to offer them another way to reduce their use and help our community reach our sustainability goals.”

Native plants can add beautiful color to your sustainable landscape, while attracting pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. Image: Water Authority

Design a Native Garden

If you haven’t finished planting your sustainable garden yet this year, you still have some time. Choose native plants that will thrive in the arid San Diego County climate.

Native plants are naturally drought-tolerant. They also support local ecosystems by providing food and habitat for pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Native plants can fall into one of many categories: trees, succulents, perennials, shrubs, grasses, groundcovers and more.

Create your sustainable garden

Each type of plant serves a different purpose in a sustainable garden.

Trees are a great way to provide natural shade. They also catch water that runs off your roof when it rains.

Perennials often have colorful flowers that bring beautiful colors for your garden.

Groundcovers and shrubs are great for covering dry slopes and catching rainwater.

Succulents look great next to rocks or other features in your garden and are usually low-maintenance.

Need ideas for your new sustainable garden this spring?

The California Native Plant Society-San Diego Chapter will conduct its eighth annual Garden Tour, The Artful California Native Garden: Native Gardens and Art Tour of East County on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Demonstrations will include how to add dry stream-bed bioswales, adjacent natural areas, water catchment devices, slope gardens, charming water features, bridges, sculptures and more in your garden.

Local artists will be meeting and greeting guests in many of the gardens and selling their California native garden themed artwork and crafts.

Tours of private residential gardens

Twelve private residential gardens will be visited on the tour, and their owners will be on-site to answer questions. At the Water Conservation Garden there will be guided demonstrations for planting and tours of the native plant garden.

When: Saturday, April 4, 2020, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon, 92019

Cost: $30 – $40

Vactor Truck-Leucadia Wastewater District-

Water Agencies Team Up to Reduce Potable Water Use

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District and Leucadia Wastewater District are reducing potable water use by switching to recycled water to flush sewer lines in their service areas.

With the recent installation of new equipment by both agencies, recycled water is now available to Leucadia for sewer line maintenance in the Village Park neighborhood in Encinitas and in the La Costa neighborhood in Carlsbad.

Regular flushing is important for gravity-fed sewer line maintenance. The process involves filling a specialized sewer cleaning vehicle, known as a vactor truck, with water and injecting the water into a sewer main. Flushing the pipes in proper working condition extends their lifetime by removing materials such as grease and roots, which can cause clogs and sewage overflows. Once flushed, a pipeline can be inspected and its condition assessed.

Recycled water, not potable water, now used to flush sewer lines

Prior to this project, Leucadia did not have access to recycled water in Olivenhain’s service area, instead filling vactor trucks with potable water. Leucadia identified the opportunity to reduce potable water use and save its ratepayers money, and approached Olivenhain about creating points at which the wastewater district could fill trucks with recycled water. Five locations throughout Encinitas and Carlsbad were selected.

“It’s a pleasure to partner with neighboring agencies for the common good,” said Olivenhain Municipal Water District Board President Ed Sprague stated. “Simple changes such as these add up and help ensure a reliable water supply for future generations.”

Regional partnership conserves drinking water

“Leucadia is excited to continue its regional partnership with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District,” said David Kulchin, Leucadia’s board president. “Using recycled water to clean sewer pipelines not only saves precious potable water supplies but continues our efforts to utilize renewable resources to the maximum extent possible.”

In addition to sewer line flushing, municipal street sweeping vehicles that were previously using potable water will be able to access recycled water thanks to the new connections. In accordance with state regulations governing recycled water use, the vactor trucks and street sweeping vehicles will have separate filling systems for potable and recycled water.

Approximately 14% of Olivenhain’s overall water demand is met with recycled water. Olivenhain produces up to two million gallons per day of recycled water at its 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility and supplements additional demand with recycled water purchased from Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District, City of San Diego, Vallecitos Water District, and San Elijo Joint Powers Authority.

First place winner CM Photography said of her winning photo, “I am thankful for water for many reasons, first it helps keep humans alive. But second, I am thankful for water because it creates beautiful things and landscapes as shown in my image. It creates clouds, lush lands and a beautiful home for sea creatures. I am thankful for everything water gives me and our aina we live on.” Otay Instagram contest winners

Otay Water District Instagram Contest Winners Get Social About Water

The Otay Water District named eight winners of its first Instagram photo contests, asking customers to depict two distinct themes.

In the first contest, four Otay Water District customers were selected winners of the agency’s first Instagram photo contest, “Thankful for Water.” During the 2019 holiday season, Instagrammers were invited to submit photos reflecting their appreciation for water.

“It might be formula, but it’s also tap water! Keeping baby healthy!” wrote first place winner Alisha Woodman. Instagram photo contest

“It might be formula, but it’s also tap water! Keeping baby healthy!” wrote Alisha Woodman, who won for the most “likes.”

One photo captured the use of water preparing for a holiday meal. Many people submitted wildlife and landscape photos. And, of course, there were selfies. Though the entry image choices varied, all depicted a precious resource — water — needed during the holiday season and year-round.

The second contest in December asked participants to submit photos with the theme “Drink Tap December.”  The focus was the importance of drinking safe and reliable tap water. Entries included a photo of the ocean beneath a pier, representing how tap water helps keep the ocean plastic-free; a toddler enjoying a bottle of milk made with water from the tap; and a photo from a demonstration in Tanzania on the difference between clean and unclean water.

“A moment that truly touched my heart. Seeing the difference between clean and unclean tap water, making a clay pot that will filter tap water and getting to meet the Masai family who will benefit from my gift that prevents typhoid and water borne diseases. We are fortunate to live in a country that has clean water. Only half of Tanzania’s 22 million people have access to clean drinking water,” said winner Margaret Meyer of Chula Vista. Instagram contest winners

“A moment that truly touched my heart. Seeing the difference between clean and unclean tap water, making a clay pot that will filter tap water and getting to meet the Masai family who will benefit from my gift that prevents typhoid and water borne diseases. We are fortunate to live in a country that has clean water. Only half of Tanzania’s 22 million people have access to clean drinking water,” said winner Margaret Minor of Chula Vista.

“I am just thrilled to win,” said first-place winner Margaret Minor, of Chula Vista, within the District’s service area. “My heart was truly touched to donate a water filter while in Tanzania to a Masai family in need of the things we take for granted like clean and safe drinking water.”

Four winners from each contest were chosen based on two categories: photos receiving the most “likes,” and photos selected by District staff based on originality, creativity, and theme. First and second place winners received gift cards to business in the District’s service area.

Additional winners in the “Thankful for Water” category:

Additional winners in the “Drink Tap December” competition:

 

To see all entries, go to the Otay Water District’s Instagram feed.

‘Framework’ Aims to Aid Water Agreements

In the coming weeks and months, the Newsom administration, water users and conservation groups will continue to refine a framework for potential voluntary agreements intended to benefit salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Gov. Gavin Newsom released the framework last week, which acts as the alternative to a state-mandated, flows-only approach that has brought opposition and lawsuits from water agencies and water users.

Student Artwork Featured in 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Talented fourth-graders from Fallbrook area elementary schools picked up their pens, crayons, and watercolors to create the best and brightest water-conservation posters for the 2020 Fallbrook Public Utility District “Be Water Smart” calendar. Out of the 250 posters submitted, the work of 14 artists was selected.

Twelve of the winning images appear inside the calendar, one for each of the 12 months of the year. One image was chosen for the cover, and another was added for January 2021. The free calendars can be picked up at the Fallbrook Public Utility District office.

Anahy Ambriz of Maie Ellis Elementary won first place in the 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar contest.

Student Artwork Featured in 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Talented fourth-graders from Fallbrook area elementary schools picked up their pens, crayons, and watercolors to create the best and brightest water-conservation posters for the Fallbrook Public Utility District 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar. Out of the 250 posters submitted, the work of 14 artists was selected.

Twelve of the winning images appear inside the calendar, one for each of the 12 months of the year. One image was chosen for the cover, and another was added for January 2021. The free calendars can be picked up at the Fallbrook Public Utility District office.

Vivid depiction of contest theme ‘Be Water Smart’

The students’ colorful images vividly depict the contest’s theme. Fallbrook judges scrutinized the entries to find the most eye-catching images illustrating the need for saving water.

The winning artists were recognized at the December 9 Fallbrook PUD board of directors meeting. Each student received a Walmart gift card, school supplies, and a signed certificate of commendation. The artists were also presented with a matted, framed version of their artwork. The first, second, and third place winners also received t-shirts customized with their own artwork.

The 2020 Fallbrook PUD calendar winners include:

First place: Anahy Ambriz, Maie Ellis Elementary

The artwork by first place winner Anahy Ambriz of Maie Ellis Elementary will appear on the cover of the 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar. Photo: FPUD 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

The artwork by first-place winner Anahy Ambriz of Maie Ellis Elementary will appear on the cover of the 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

Second place: Samantha Mejia, Maie Ellis Elementary

Samantha Mejia of Maie Ellis Elementary is the second place winner. Photo: FPUD 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Samantha Mejia of Maie Ellis Elementary is the second-place winner. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

Third place: Brisa Bailon, Maie Ellis Elementary

Brisa Bailon of Maie Ellis Elementary won third place. Photo: FPUD

Brisa Bailon of Maie Ellis Elementary won third place. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

Additional winners include:

Leo Quick, Fallbrook STEM Academy

Work by Leo Quick of the Fallbrook STEM Academy. Photo: FPUD

Work by Leo Quick of the Fallbrook STEM Academy. Photo: FPUD

Kelly Jaimes, William H. Frazier Elementary

Kelly Jaimes, William H. Frazier Elementary 2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Kelly Jaimes, William H. Frazier Elementary. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

Oscar Tovar, Live Oak Elementary

2020 Fallbrook PUD Calendar

Oscar Tovar, Live Oak Elementary, Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

(L to R): Isabella Magana, Alexandro Rojas, Gizalle Amezquita, and Ares Miramontes of Maie Ellis Elementary

(L to R): Kayla Arango, Nya Lin Ramirez, Abigail Perez, and Jennifer Wiscott of La Paloma Elementary

The annual contest is open only to Fallbrook Public Utility District fourth-graders because they have learned about water conservation and the water cycle by the fourth grade. Students from five elementary schools submitted entries.

The contest objective is to find the most eye-catching images illustrating the need for saving water. All 14 pieces of artwork will be displayed on the Fallbrook PUD website. They will also be displayed in the Fallbrook board room for a year and will be used in the district’s social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.

See the 2019 Fallbrook PUD Conservation Calendar artwork.

Several water agencies in the San Diego region sponsor calendar contests for students throughout the year with various conservation themes including ‘Water is Life‘ and ‘Be Water Smart.’ The contests offer opportunities for students to showcase their artistic skills while also thinking and learning about water conservation.

Imperial Valley Conservation Efforts Benefit San Diego, Southwest

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors visited the Imperial Valley January 30 for a day-long tour that highlighted areas critical to the agency’s Regional Conveyance System Study. Board members approved a study in July 2019, to evaluate a new regional water conveyance system that would deliver water from the Colorado River to San Diego County and provide multiple benefits across the Southwest. The Board will hear results from the first phase of the study this spring before deciding whether to move ahead with Phase B. The tour started in southwestern Imperial County, where the All-American Canal meets the Westside Main Canal, an historic location where, starting in 1919, water from a canal system in Mexico first flowed into the western half of the Imperial Valley. 

Water Use Drops Nearly 32% Per Capita in Manteca Copy

Manteca’s daily per capita use of water in 2019 was down 31.8 percent compared to 2013.

That means Manteca is now exceeding the water conservation goal of 30 percent established by the state at the height of the drought. Mantecans used 195.5 gallons per capita in 2013 compared to 133.3 gallons in 2019.