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Water-wise Plants and Vegetation

 

WATER-WISE PLANTS AND VEGETATION

Before After

On average, most families use about 500 gallons of water per day, and over 30% is used to water their yards and gardens. By using some water-wise gardening ideas, you can reduce your water usage by 50% or more while keeping your yards and gardens green and healthy. These tips include:

  • Follow the land by watching where rain runs after it falls onto your yard. The contours of the yard can be changed to catch rainwater, and speed or slow its flow, holding it in the ground for use by plants
  • Give plants only as much water as they need. Use efficient watering methods such as drip systems and soaker hoses that apply water closer to the plant roots. Keep in mind that plants adapted to dry summers need less water a few years after planting
  • Add compost or mulch to the soil. Compost helps the soil hold water and adds nutrients needed for plant growth. Mulch prevents the soil from overheating and drying out, as well as reduces weeds and slows erosion. Use 2"-4" underneath plants and shrubs.
  • Tend patiently and keep in mind that plants will grow
  • Gather rainwater in buckets and save it for later use
  • Prune naturally by not forcing plants to grow into unnatural shapes
  • Layer plants to make shade and use species that are native to our area
  • Observe the natural shade and sun of your yard and plan your garden accordingly

The Water District is presently working with its member cities to develop pilot or demonstration programs that emphasize water-wise landscaping and water-efficient gardening equipment and techniques. As these projects get finalized and produce results, we look forward to sharing more information with you.

List of Water Conservation & Water Quality Pilot Projects

The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District works closely with the Theodore Payne Foundation in a variety of ways to provide information about "water-wise" California Native Plants to teachers, students, residents and businesses. For more information about California Native Plants please visit the Theodore Payne Foundation website.

Winter Gardening Tips
California Native Plants Fact Sheet

THEODORE PAYNE FOUNDATION FOR WILD FLOWERS & NATIVE PLANTS INC.


WATER CONSERVATION

Water Conservation is an important, low-cost method of preserving our water supply. By using less water, by using water-efficient landscaping or refraining from water use altogether, conserving water is a critical part of an effective water supply program.

Water Efficient Landscaping

Water conservation is more than a technique; it's a "green" ethic and mindset. In addition, since saving water means other, more costly means of acquiring water are not needed, water conservation is the cheapest, lowest-cost alternative to augmenting local water supplies. Water conservation is not a new approach. However, it is receiving more attention and is in wider use than ever before. And there is increasingly sophisticated equipment, technology, materials and procedures that enable water conservation to be more and more effective.

Here in California and the San Gabriel Valley, cities, water districts, water companies, and utilities are deeply involved in public education efforts that promote water conservation. Informing residents and employers about water conservation and saving water is a top priority of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District's public education program. The reason is simple: water conservation costs little to nothing to implement and the water and financial savings can be substantial.

The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District works closely with the Theodore Payne Foundation in a variety of ways to provide information about "water-wise" California Native Plants to teachers, students, residents and businesses. For more information about California Native Plants please visit the Theodore Payne Foundation website and view this informative PowerPoint presentation.

In and around southern California, cities and water agencies are reporting significant reductions in water usage due to various water conservation measures. Mandatory water conservation techniques include:

  • Rationing ordinances
  • Restricted day/time watering ordinances
  • Fines and penalties for violating water use ordinances
  • Price increases

New technological solutions and voluntary water conservation techniques include:

  • Water efficient behavior such as shorter showers and turning off the water when brushing your teeth
  • Sophisticated technology such as satellite-based weather monitoring stations and "smart" water timers
  • Low-flush and waterless toilets that use less or no water
  • Recycled water approaches such as indirect potable reuse systems and greywater systems that capture and reuse potable water
  • Equipment such as flow restrictors, spray nozzles, sprinkler heads, and pool and spa covers
  • Outdoor shading and landscaping that reduce evaporation of water and cool indoor/outdoor areas
  • Water-efficient grasses, plants and landscaping
  • Water and energy-efficient clothes and dish washing machines
  • Rebate programs that provide financial incentives to purchase water and energy efficient appliances

For more information about water conservation, please view the Water District's water saving tips sheets and water saving tips video.