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California Water Leaders Say Native Plants Would Help Reduce Water Usage

To aid water conservation efforts in drought-stricken California, local and state water leaders are touting the benefits of native plants that require less water to maintain and help restore biodiversity.  Amidst a nursery filled with plants native to California at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley,  Executive Director Evan Meyer recently welcomed water leaders…

Mow High and Mulch Thick
• Raise the lawnmower blade to mow higher and allow the grass to grow deeper roots
• Keep a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch in plant beds to limit evaporation and help control weeds

Redirect and Capture Rainwater
• Direct rainfall off the roof and into a rain barrel or cistern for garden use (both are eligible for rebates)
• Install stormwater retention features like dry rock beds, swales, berms and grades
• Redirect water into the garden and allow it to soak into the ground rather than running off into the gutter
• Install a rainchain from the roof to direct runoff into flower beds and away from the home’s foundation

Have a Smart Irrigation Program
• Take advantage of rebates for smart controllers and install a custom watering schedule by zone that adjusts to the weather. Some controllers can even be adjusted through a phone app.
• Use rotating sprinkler nozzles (also eligible for rebates) for more efficient watering and less overspray and loss to evaporation
• Be quick to repair sprinkler leads and adjust for blocked spray to avoid excessive runoff
• Consider converting from spray watering to drip, bubblers and microsprays for shrubs and flower beds
• Use a soil moisture sensor to more accurately determine watering needs (eligible for a rebate)

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has many rebates to help you save water indoors and outside, along with helpful conservation tips and how-to videos at Here’s a snapshot of residential outdoor water-saving rebates:

Lawn Replacement: Starting at $2/square foot (maximum 5,000 square feet)
Smart Irrigation Controller:
Starting at $80 (less than one irrigated acre)
Starting at $35/station (one irrigated acre or larger)

Rotating Nozzles: Starting at $2/nozzle (minimum 30 per home)
Rain Barrel: Starting at $35/barrel (maximum two per home)
Cisterns: Starting at $250,$300, $350 depending on number of gallons

Infiltration System Being Built to Improve San Fernando Water

In the baseball field of the San Fernando Recreation Park, work has begun on constructing an infiltration system to capture runoff rainwater and prevent pollutants from reaching the local water supply. The estimated $11.2 million project, which began construction on April 4, is being built in the field near the Pacoima Wash. It is expected…

How to Help Fight Climate Change in Your Neighborhood

By Gabriel Arizon  San Fernando Valley Sun/el Sol  In an effort to increase awareness of climate change among local residents, representatives from Climate Resolve held a presentation about the effects of rising heat in the San Fernando Valley and how to help mitigate it.  Gabriel Varela and Lia Cohen of Climate Resolve — an organization…