Waterwise Links


March 19, 2018 by Renee Roth, Rainscape Designs

Our water supplies in the Ojai Valley (groundwater and Lake Casitas) are of concern.  Despite recent storms, Ojai rainfall totals are low. Higher water rates have been set by water agencies and allocations established to help reduce demand.  Current lake level at Casitas is at record low, with a Stage 3 drought  declared on   /  /  , and expect Stage 4 declared by June of 2018. Penalties will be charged for water use above allocations. More info on lake level is here, more information on the drought declarations here.

Rethinking our landscape and replacing high water use plants (i.e. turf) with “waterwise” plants is part of the solution. It’s time to develop a long-term framework for water conservation, drought planning and water use efficiency standards for the Ojai Valley.

How much water do you need?  How much water do you use?  Indoor water use?  Outdoor water used in the landscape?

Below are links to local and State of California water use efficiency mandates and changes, along with ideas to help you save water.

Casitas Water Conservation Page
Casitas Water Stage III Drought Declaration and Water Waste Prohibitions
City of Ojai Drought Information and Resources
Ventura County Seasonal Rainfall Map
County of Santa Barbara WaterWise Landscaping
City of Santa Barbara Drought and Water Conservation Information
WUCOLS plant database of water requirements by region in CA
UC AG & Natural Resources-Master Gardeners
Capture the Rain and Let it Flow
Plant list for Rain Gardens
Water Conservations Tips for the Home Lawn & Garden
Sustainable Landscaping In California
Point Vicente Interpetive Center in Palos Verde


There are several different ways to remove your lawn, some take longer than other. I like to  encourages homeowners to consider methods that reduce waste generation and chemical use, and recycle turf  back into your soil when possible.
UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County
California Native Plant Society
Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County
Sonoma County Master Gardeners
Ocean Friendly Gardens

Stop Waste

Capturing Rainwater
Interesting how many states have rain garden design and installation manuals except for California, hmm wonder why that is? ¬†Maybe because rain gardens require correct placement (not too close to the foundation of buildings) and sizing (big enough to capture one inch of rain off of a nearby roof), along with the ability to drain into and percolate water into soil (based on soil texture and structure i.e. percentage of sand, silt and clay ). ¬†Rain gardens also need to be designed with spillways for very large rain event, so extreme amounts of rainwater can “spill out” and into the storm drains. ¬†And don’t forget the plants, which have to like being wet in the rainy season and dry in the summer. ¬†More info below:
Plants for Rain Gardens
G3-Green Gardens Group Design Manuals
Plant Database from SO CAL Nurseries/Growers
Favorite Websites on WaterWise Plants:

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