The drought in San Diego County may be over, but Southern California’s residents and landscape will continue to feel the impact of the recent years-long dry spells for years to come.
“While we are enjoying these much-needed rainy seasons, we have learned that precipitation is not guaranteed,” said Rajan Brown, vice president of resource management for Heaviland Landscape Management. “Weather conditions in our region are increasingly variable and it is important that Southern California continue to use water efficiently during wet years.”
Projected to annually save San Diego more than 14 million gallons of potable water, Heaviland Landscape Management’s 2016 commercial landscape and irrigation renovations remind residents and business owners to continue conservation efforts.
To help contribute to the projected water savings calculations, two categories of commercial landscaping projects were created: turf removal and recycled water retrofits.
Turf removal projects are water-saving solutions that commercial and residential properties throughout the county can implement, and they also include installing drought tolerant plants and water-efficient irrigation. In 2016, Heaviland Landscape Management helped San Diego County save an estimated 2.8 million gallons of potable water annually for 10 commercial turf removal projects.
Heaviland reported that the second category, recycled water retrofits, can save significant amounts of water; they also noted that the city of Carlsbad, California, is expanding its network of recycled water pipelines to utilize tertiary treated wastewater for landscape irrigation.
Potable water can instead be used for drinking and other beneficial purposes once a landscape irrigation system is converted to recycled water. Through retrofits, Heaviland converted 596,000 square feet of irrigated area to recycled water in 2016, and is saving the county an estimated 11.3 million gallons of drinkable water each year.
“According to the California Water Board, the average San Diegan uses 59 gallons of water per day, which equals 21,535 gallons per year,” said Brown. “That means the savings accumulated from our 2016 projects would provide enough water for 654 Californians each year.”
These water savings projections are based on the State of California’s estimated water use calculations and account for evapotranspiration, plant water needs and irrigation system uniformity. Actual consumption may vary based on weather conditions and appropriate water management.
For more information about Heaviland Landscape Management and their projects, click here.