OCWD acquires turf removal rebate for water conservation amid drought

Amid ongoing drought in California, the Orange County Water District is striving to use water more efficiently and is exploring opportunities to increase water conservation.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, May 21, 2015 -- Amid ongoing drought in the state of California, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) is striving to use water more efficiently and is exploring opportunities to increase water conservation. This effort complements its mission to provide a reliable, adequate, high-quality water supply to local water retailers serving 2.4 million people, requiring extensive operations and infrastructure that occupy thousands of acres of land.

Recently, OCWD recently received a turf removal rebate in the amount of $347,606 from the City of Anaheim's Public Utilities Department. The grant was provided through a partnership between the Anaheim Public Utilities and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's "SoCal Water$mart" program, which provides turf removal rebates to assist customers with further reducing their water use.

Water used for outdoor irrigation accounts for approximately 60 percent of consumer water usage. It's OCWD's responsibility to take steps to decrease water used for its own landscape irrigation. The District's immediate response to the drought was to curtail irrigation spraying and let turf go brown, but as a long-term solution, it is looking for ways to replace old landscapes with native and water-tolerant alternatives.

Maintaining an attractive, water-wise landscape is important to OCWD, which owns more than 1,100 acres of open space used for public recreation such as, parks, trails and lakes in Orange and Riverside Counties. The majority of property owned by the District is used to operate a complex groundwater recharge system that replenishes the groundwater basin it manages in north and central Orange County, and when possible, this land is used for both operational and recreational activities.

The District will use the rebate money to replace 172,303 square-feet of turf on frontage property it owns in Anaheim near the intersection of La Palma and Tustin Avenue. Key elements of the project include removal of non-native trees and grasses; re-grading an existing slope to add a pedestrian walkway along La Palma; planting the area with native, drought-tolerant species; and installation of a new water-conserving irrigation system. It is anticipated the project will be completed in November and will save over 16.5 million gallons of water each year.

See also:

"OCWD approves term sheet for desalinated water from Huntington Beach project"

"Orange County's GWRS Exemplifies Power of Collaboration"

###

More in Environmental