Water is a precious resource in California,
since most Californians live and farm in areas that receive sparse annual
Of the water used by the typical suburban home, more than half is used on
landscaping. Since 30 percent of that is lost due to overwatering or
evaporation, the opportunity for water conservation is significant.
In an effort to promote the efficient use of water in the landscape, the
Regional Water Authority (RWA representing the interests of most of the water
providers in the Sacramento Region) created the
Be Water Smart website has a
lot of useful information on creating water efficient gardens check out
Making the most efficient use of water in your landscape starts with making
the most of the water you provide to your existing plants:
- Water according to need consider what plants need based on the
weather, soil type, sun exposure, and slope.
- Make every drop count fix leaking, broken, and misaligned sprinklers
in your irrigation system. Water plants deeply and early in the day.
- Request an irrigation audit schedule a FREE irrigation audit from your
local water supplier (many provide this service).
- Mulch around your plants mulch conserves water by reducing
Inline emitters are much more efficient
If you have the opportunity to create a new landscape or renovate an old
one, consider the following in your design:
- Group plants by water needs (called hydrozoning) plants vary a
great deal in their need for water. Group plants by their water needs
and place each group on its own irrigation valve.
- Use California natives or Mediterranean plants Many California
natives, as well as many Mediterranean species, tolerate dry summers
with little or no water once they are established.
- Minimize the lawn Lawns use
a lot more water than other landscape areas.
- Design and install high efficiency irrigation systems drip systems
are generally more efficient than overhead sprinklers because they
minimize overspray, evaporation, and runoff. Plants are healthier
because the water is applied more closely to plant root zones.
The Seven Principles of
Click on any section to learn more
Here are some more in depth articles on specific RFL topics that you might
find of interest:
Mulch, Grasscycling, and Compost
Fertilize Naturally Is Feeding
Frenzy Really Needed?
Plant Trees, Save Energy!
Right Plant, Right Place!
Take Action to Save Water Outdoors
Lawn Care: How Green is Your Grass?
Rethink Your Lawn
Pests Bugging You?
River-Friendly Pest Control
Managing Common Pests
Interview about RFL (MP3)
Choose California natives first
Watch the YouTube video
Flow - Make Your Landscape Act Like a Sponge"
to learn about the importance of landscaping to stormwater quality.