Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Should Keep Saving Water In The Winter

Even though we've been seen plenty of rain and snow this fall, CCWD's Drought Management Plan is still in place.

You need to continue to save water and remain below your water budget to avoid excess use charges.

Though the start of the rain season has been good, there is still a long way to go in the season. If the rain and snow in the Sierra stops or tapers off, we would be facing continuing drought conditions. So far, so good.

If you like sports analogies: "We're only in the First Quarter, anything thing can happen in the next three," or "It's still the first inning," or "We may be in the lead by the first pit stop, but we haven't won the race."

You get the picture, we'll keep you updated.

Five Ways To Save Water In The Winter:

1. Insulate your water pipes. Insulation saves water two ways, it will take less time to heat water in the house and also avoids water loss and expensive repairs if the pipes burst in freezing temperatures. Insulation helps save water all year long.

2. Plan your spring planting with our new gardening information site. Our site is geared to Contra Costa weather and soil conditions, and is a concise and fun way to pick plants for your water-tolerant garden. There are pictures, examples of drought-tolerant yards and more.

3. Continue to take a short shower, pick up one of our free timers to remind you to the showers short. We also have free water saving shower heads. You can get them both at our CCWD Main Office at 1331 Concord Ave. in Concord.

4. Remove your lawn and replace it with drought-tolerant plants. We'll pay you up to $500 to do it. You need to follow all the steps to qualify for the money.

5. Double-check to make sure your sprinklers are off. Since most timers are set to water in the early morning, you may not know if yours are running.
CCWD Customers Continue To Save Water

The statistics aren't changing much, and that's good. CCWD customers are continuing to save water. Between May 1 and Nov. 30, customers have saved 20 percent when compared to the historic average of the years 2005, 06 and 07.

That remains impressive, and customers are saving more than the goal of 15 percent.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Gardening Website Filled with Information on Drought -Tolerant Plants

Looking for ideas for drought-tolerant plants? Take a look at our new “Gardening in Contra Costa County” website.

It’s designed for Contra Costa weather and soil conditions. It features all kinds of information and photos that will help you select beautiful plants that don’t need a lot of water.

The site is easy to navigate.

There are photos of many types of drought-tolerant yards. Click on a plant, and it will show you all kinds of information on it. You can create a custom plant list that you can print and take to your nursery.

Turn Off Your Sprinklers

Wet weather is predicted for most of next week. We're please to see the rain and snow, but it frustrates us to see sprinklers on when it's raining.

It's a waste.

So double check to make sure the sprinklers are off at your home or office.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CCWD Will Pay Up To $500 To Remove Your Lawn

CCWD has launched a new program that will pay you an incentive of up to $500 to remove the front lawn of your home and replace the grass with drought-tolerant plants or even selected types of artificial lawn.

The District’s Pilot Water-Efficient Landscape Rebate Program provides an incentive to property owners to replace high-water use lawns with low-water use landscape plants and

The program offers customers fifty cents per square foot to replace eligible lawn areas with water-efficient landscaping using plants and shrubs with low water requirements.

It is open to residential and non-residential customers who receive treated water in the CCWD retail and wholesale service areas.

CCWD will rebate residential customers up to $500 (one thousand square feet of lawn removed).

Non-residential customers can receive up to $5,000 (ten thousand square feet of lawn removed).

You need to follow all the steps to qualify for the money. Look here for more information.

December Water Saving Tips

During December there are a number of things to do to keep your garden looking good while saving water.

* Rake up fallen leaves and put them in your compost pile. Never use a blower to clean out shrub beds as it can blow out mulch and topsoil and expose plant roots.

* Turn off the watering system completely. Only water manually if we don’t receive rain for two to three weeks. Remember, some lawns will go partially dormant and turn brown in the winter if we have a cold spell. They don’t need irrigation. They will bounce back in spring when the weather warms up.

* Don’t mow lawns when they are wet. This will cause soil compaction and hurt the quality of the lawn. Wait until the grass is dry even if it takes an extra week or so.

Looking For Water Saving Plant Ideas?

Stop by our nearly one-acre Demonstration Garden at
CCWD’s District Center office at 1331 Concord Ave. in Concord.

The garden has more than 50 types of drought-tolerant plants ranging from sea lavender to the California fuchsia. We also have trees such as the desert willow and pomegranate.

The garden was originally planted in 1991 to replace a large water-drinking lawn. It was refurbished this year with more plants and a modern irrigation system.

It is one of 78 Demonstration Gardens in California recognized by the Water Education Foundation, The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Urban Water Conservation Council.

The garden now uses one-third of the water that the old lawn consumed….and we never have to mow it!