As California continues to face extreme drought conditions, it is important we do our part to conserve water. The City of Irvine and Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) have provided several tips for saving water and decreasing your water bill. With more than 60 percent of water usage outdoors, the best way to conserve water is to use water-wise landscaping, know when and how much to water, and to use efficient irrigation equipment. These simple steps will go a long way.
Use Water-Wise Plants
California water-wise plants are perfectly suited for our mild winters and warm, dry summers. They're low maintenance, use little water and do not need soil preparation or fertilizing. To further save water and money, "get rid of the turf." IRWD offers a Turf Removal Rebate, which is $2 per square foot of grass removed. Minimum of 250 square feet is required. For more information about drought resistant plants, landscaping and a planting guide, visit irwdcalscape.org.
Get on a Watering Schedule
A watering schedule appropriate for California's climate and water-wise plants will keep your plants hydrated with the least amount of water...saving you money. If you have an automatic timer, let it keep track of your watering schedule. Visit irwd.com for more information and for an online watering schedule for each month of the year.
Use Efficient Irrigation Equipment
The right equipment will enable you to water your garden efficiently and get the most from every drop. Rotating spray nozzles save more water than you think...up to 7,500 gallons per week. Visit irwd.com to learn how to property schedule your sprinkler timer and to find in-depth "Sprinkler 101" resources.
City of Irvine Water and Garden Resources
In addition to the resources found on the IRWD website, the City of Irvine's Environmental Programs also offers water-saving information and tips at cityofirvine.org/waterquality.
The Orange County Great Park's Farm + Food Lab is a two-acre urban agriculture demonstration garden that offers a hands-on gardening experience, featuring themed planters with fruits, flowers, vegetables, and herbs, and is maintained by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Orange County. The Farm + Food Lab offers several gardening workshops related to water-wise gardening, tips and equipment. The Master Gardeners are a tremendous resource for information and can be reached seven days per week. For more information about the Farm + Food Lab or to learn more about the Master Gardeners, visit cityofirvine.org/orangecountygreatpark. For gardening workshops, see Page 96 of the summer edition of Inside Irvine.
The City's water quality team is also supporting the County of Orange's Overwatering is Out program. For more information and helpful tips, visit cityofirvine.org/waterquality or overwateringisout.org.
Drought Tolerant Plants for Irvine
Visit Irvine Ranch Water District's website for suggestions: irwdcalscape.org.