Updated: May 3
There simply isn't enough water to meet the demands of our state, leading to a water shortage emergency declared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday, April 26th, 2022. In response, it is implementing a program that will restrict outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.
The latest data collected has shown that Californians have actually been using more water instead of less, over the last two years, despite worsening drought conditions. In addition, according to Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, January, February and March which are usually our wettest months, were the driest on record.
Affecting about 6 million people in Southern California, the latest measures will begin June 1st, 2022. The hope is that this will reduce water usage by 20-30%. If this is not effective enough, outdoor watering might be eliminated completely by September 1st, according to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Here are some informative ways to help conserve water in your garden:
Here are some articles that can help make a difference in your water usage:
Looking to make changes to your residential or commercial landscape? We can help! Contact us today!
Updated: May 2
Update: April 26th, 2022: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California begins a program that will cut outdoor watering to one day a week in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, affecting about six million people.
While it's wonderful California got some more rain recently, we still have drought conditions to face. For a second year in a row, Governor Newsom said more needs to be done in California, calling for cities and water agencies to now implement their second level water contingency plans to further reduce water usage and implement tougher rules. He stopped short of mandates statewide, in favor of letting local agencies figure out what is best for their areas. Restrictions would not affect agriculture either, but he did ask agencies to consider banning irrigation of lawns.
Californians did not conserve more water over the last two years, rather they used more. According to CalMatters.Org, "In January, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted emergency regulations allowing water providers to bar certain wasteful water uses, such as hosing down sidewalks with drinking water.
But water use nevertheless ticked up statewide in January compared to January
2020. The biggest increase was 19% in the desert region that includes the Palm Springs area and the Imperial Valley. The South Lahontan region, spanning the Sierra Nevada, mountain communities of Southern California and Death Valley, had the second highest increase, at 9%. Residents of the Los Angeles basin and San Diego County used 1.8% more water, while those in most of the Central Valley used 6 to 7% more.
The only regions that slightly reduced water consumption were the San Francisco Bay Area, which used 1.4% less, and the southern San Joaquin Valley, which used 0.2% less. Overall, Californians from July of last year through January conserved about 6.5% statewide compared to 2020, according to state data — falling far short of Newsom’s requested 15%."
A letter to water right holders from the State Water Board states "Despite record-breaking storms in October and December 2021, most of California is experiencing a severe drought due to the driest January and February on record. These conditions are worsening quickly and can threaten water supplies, impair critical habitat, reduce recreational opportunities, and create uncertainty for all water users.
We are experiencing historic dry conditions: February is usually California’s wettest month, but January and February 2022 were the driest we’ve seen in recorded history. Statewide, precipitation is less than half the yearly average, and dry conditions are forecast to continue through spring."
While more might be added, these are the State Water Board Emergency Regulations Requirements that went into effect on Jan 18, 2022:
Turn off decorative water fountains
Turn off/pause your irrigation system when it's raining and for two days after rain
Use an automatic shutoff nozzle on your water hose
Use a broom, not water, to clean sidewalks and driveways
Give trees just what they need: avoid overwatering
If you would like help with removing your lawn or updating your irrigation system and adding a smart controller, contact us! We are experts in turf removal, installing new irrigation systems or updating existing systems. There are even rebates to help with the costs, depending on where you live. Let us help make it easy!
Drought conditions in California are forcing property owners to come up with solutions for landscaping that are not only drought-tolerant but also attractive. Designing a balanced garden requires a combination of softscapes and hardscapes. The term softscape refers to living vegetation, and the term hardscape refers to the non-living elements, like pathways and patios.
There are many low-water plants, trees and ground covers that can be used for softscape areas. These should be chosen for the climate. Combining softscapes with hardscape elements like pathways, ponds, patios and areas of functional space can make your garden an extension of your living space. Using softscape in combination with useful hardscape elements is a creative solution that can produce a beautiful and interesting garden and also save valuable water and money.
There are many choices of drought tolerant plants for softscaping that can thrive in Southern California. Mediterranean varieties as well as native plants are among the best suited for our climate. Lavender, thyme and oregano are plants that add beauty and fragrance to a garden and require very little water. Yarrow and California poppy are native plants that also have lower water requirements. Bougainvillea can provide a lovely infusion of color and height on a trellis. Milkweed is a wonderful native plant that helps Monarch butterflies.
There are many ornamental grasses like sheep fescue and deergrass, that provide texture and color and can be a great substitute for lawns. Some examples of perennials that have lower water requirements are: mallow, lamb’s ears, catmint, coyote mint, California fuschia and penstemons, to name just a few. Succulents are another good choice for Southern California!
While softscape plants should be chosen to fit the California climate, hardscaping ideas are practically limitless. Rock walls, patios, paths, and boulders are some design elements that can be used. Paths that wander through your garden are inviting and a wonderful way to create depth perception.
Pathways can be made of flagstone, concrete, pea gravel, brick, bark, or cobblestone to name a few. Raised planters and divisions can add interest and bring beauty to your design. Adding a water feature with a recirculating pump, like a pond or a birdbath, attracts wildlife and brings tranquility. A garden bench, swing, and patio furniture invites you to relax in your garden. In addition, decks and gazebos are wonderful design elements that can extend your living space into your landscape.
Our professional team at Pacific Vista Landscape Services are experts creating softscape and hardscape combinations. We can help design, build, and plant your perfect waterwise garden oasis!