July, 2015: It is official! We are in our 4th Year of Drought in Southern California, and everybody is talking about water concerns. This is an unprecendented situation, and Governor Brown has declared mandatory reductions in water use statewide.
Water Restrictions affect all Californians, from farmers to cattle ranchers, to industries like fisheries, tourism, water sports, and commercial landscaping, municipal landscaping, and to our own home & garden use.
This Summer, in the upcoming series of posts, I hope to touch on important aspects of the drought and offer practical tips, including:
- Plant This Not That: All Drought Tolerant Plants are Not Equal
- How to Replace Your Lawn: Landscaping Choices
- Saving Gray Water for Reuse: Water Cachment Systems.
- Practical Garden Ideas that will Conserve Moisture
- Why Native Plants Matter
This drought is more far-reaching than just the State of California. It spreads all across the West, including places like Las Vegas, which has its own set of challenges. It affects water reservoirs, and places like Lake Mead are at historic low levels. Officials are facing big challenges getting drinking water to all of us, while still providing for agriculture.
I see the current challenges as a promising opportunity for Californians. When we rip out our lawns, we are provided the opportunity to embrace new plants in our landscaping. NOW, is the time to choose native plants!
Native plants are drought tolerant, because they belong here! Yes, there are non-native plants which are also drought tolerant and are commonly offered at nurseries. But, why not give back to the local ecology by repairing the ecosystem with native plants. Native plants bring us native insects, much to the happiness of native birds.
What are you doing to conserve water in your California garden this summer? We'd love to hear about it!