Water Authority Advances Regional Landscape Sustainability Efforts

 
Short Title
Regional Landscape Sustainability Efforts Advance
Two upcoming events offer tips and tools for WaterSmart living

As part of its larger initiative to boost outdoor water efficiency, the San Diego County Water Authority is supporting two seminars next week that are designed to help the region’s landscapers, property managers and others conserve water used outdoors.

On Wednesday, March 6, the Water Authority and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will co-host a free workshop about a newly released Landscape Water Management “ROI Calculator.”  The spreadsheet was created to assist property owners and managers, landscape professionals and water conservation specialists assess the return on investment of various WaterSmart strategies.

The model captures projected costs and savings associated with landscaping options to help pinpoint the most cost-effective practices and changes.  Workshop participants will receive a free licensed copy of the ROI Calculator and be invited to join a regional group of users who apply the tool to local projects.  Participants must bring a laptop computer with Excel version 97-2003 or newer.

The workshop is from 8 a.m. to noon at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center, 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego. Reservations are required. RSVP to Nydia Figueroa at (858)522-6702 or nfigueroa@sdcwa.org.

On Thursday, March 7, the Water Authority is sponsoring the Sustainable Landscape Conference at the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theatre in El Cajon. The conference is designed to examine sustainable landscaping across the region by focusing on the environmental elements of air, earth, water and fire. Featured speakers are Richard Halsey of the California Chaparral Institute, Don Simpson of the San Diego Zoological Society, Vicki Estrada of Estrada Land Planning, and Catherine Hollinger of Hollinger and Associates.

Jeff Fulgham, sustainability officer at Banyan Water, is giving the keynote address. Nick DeLorenzo, president of DeLorenzo International in Little Italy, will cap off the conference by sharing his perspective on the day’s proceedings.

The cost of the conference is $90. It includes admission to the trade show, a continental breakfast and lunch. For details and registration, go to www.cuyamaca.edu/OHweb.

Through its regional WaterSmart initiative, the Water Authority aims to increase the efficiency of outdoor water use through a variety of strategies. In December, it started offering financial incentives for homeowners and business owners to replace conventional turf grass with plants more suited to the region’s semi-arid climate. Click here for details. Other elements of the initiative will be introduced in coming months.