While the drought in San Diego County may be over, the recent years-long dry spell will continue to impact Southern California residents and its landscape for years to come. Heaviland Landscape Management’s 2016 commercial landscape and irrigation renovations are projected to save San Diego more than 14 million gallons of potable water annually, while reminding residents and business-owners to continue conservation efforts.
“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.”
Two categories of commercial landscaping projects contribute to the projected water savings calculations: turf removal projects and recycled water retrofit projects.
Turf removal projects, which also include installing drought tolerant plants and water-efficient irrigation, are water-savings solutions that commercial and residential properties throughout the county can implement. For 10 commercial turf removal projects in 2016, Heaviland Landscape Management helped San Diego County save an estimated 2.8 million gallons of potable water annually.
Recycled water retrofits can save significant amounts of potable water. The city of Carlsbad, Calif. is expanding its network of recycled water pipelines to utilize tertiary treated wastewater for landscape irrigation. Once a landscape irrigation system is converted to recycled water, potable water can instead be used for drinking and other beneficial purposes. By converting 596,000 square feet of irrigated area to recycled water in 2016 through retrofits, Heaviland Landscape Management is saving the county an estimated 11.3 million gallons of drinkable water annually.
“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. They account for evapotranspiration, plant water needs and irrigation system uniformity, but actual consumption may vary based on weather conditions and appropriate water management.
For more information about Heaviland Landscape Management, visit www.heaviland.net.