Water ResourcesWater Conservation

Water-Wise Landscaping

To learn more about water-wise landscaping, take a Virtual Home Tour to investigate water savings opportunities in each area of your home or learn 100 Ways to Save Water

In addition to the following tips, visit www.bayfriendly.org. Bay-Friendly is a holistic approach to gardening and landscaping that works in harmony with the natural conditions of the San Francisco Bay Watershed. Bay-Friendly practices foster soil health, conserve water and other valuable resources while reducing waste and preventing pollution.

Want to see what a water-wise landscape can look like? Visit the drought-tolerant gardens in the Livermore Valley Wine Country. Find a map of the gardens at Master Gardener Map.

Ready to replace your water-thirsty lawn with sustainable, drought-tolerant landscaping? Livermore Municipal Water and the California Water Service Company is participating with Tri-Valley water wholesaler Zone 7 Water Agency to offer rebates for a single-family residence and for a business or multi-family property. For details, check out the Lawn Conversion Rebate webpage.

The following tips are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Water Use Efficiency Program:

Watering

  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems.
  • Water the lawn and or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). do not water on windy days.
  • Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice on the amount and frequency of watering needed in your area.
  • Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems.
  • Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems. 

Planting

  • Have your soil tested for nutrient content and add organic matter if needed. Good soil absorbs and retains water better.
  • Minimize turf areas and use native grasses.
  • Use native plants in your landscape — they require less care and water than ornamental varieties.

Maintenance

  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth. 
  • Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone. 
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height -- longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
  • Minimize or eliminate fertilizing which requires additional watering, and promotes new growth which will also need additional watering.

Ornamental Water Features

  • Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water. Use signs to indicate that water is recycled. do not operate during a drought.