by Keith Bancroft, Water Conservation Specialist Supervisor
On April 7, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order ending the drought state of emergency in all but four California counties (Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne). In doing so, Governor Brown emphasized that, even though the state-wide five-year drought is officially over, wise use of our water resources will continue to be vitally important for Californians and that we should all “make conservation a California way of life.”
What does this mean? It means not relying on temporary, emergency water conservation measures to meet short-term goals. It means evaluating how we use water in our everyday lives and making permanent changes to use that water more wisely.
One of the best ways to reduce overall water use is to focus on the water we use in our landscapes. Think about your home’s landscape. Like many people, do you live in the backyard but just look at the front? Would you be willing to “reimagine your landscape
” or, at least, part of it? The state’s Save Our Water website
provides over 50 examples of “reimagined” landscapes where homeowners have embraced making conservation a way of life and love the results.
|From “Entries” Gallery,
Also, if you’re interested in removing grass and replacing it with a more sustainable alternative, the Save Our Water website offers a rebate of $2/square foot
Additionally, MMWD’s Water-Wise Gardening website
provides 27 galleries
of successful landscapes designed for hillsides, front/backyards, entries, walkways, lawn substitute gardens and many more.
While it may seem daunting to make a wholesale change to a large area, there may be smaller, incremental changes you can make to slowly convert a larger area to a climate-appropriate, sustainable landscape. A great way to start is by inviting a Marin Master Gardener to your home to conduct a free Marin-Friendly Garden Walk
. Master Gardeners have extensive training in a variety of areas: site analysis, garden design, botany, drought tolerant and native plants, and efficient irrigation practices. If you would like to have a Marin Master Gardener come to your garden for an hour long consultation, please fill out an online request for a Garden Walk