Sustainable Landscape Guidelines

Take a watershed approach to landscaping your yard
January 8, 2016

The San Diego County Water Authority has partnered with the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, California American Water and the Association of Compost Producers to create the Sustainable Landscape Guidelines. These new guidelines represent a substantial step forward in enhancing the sustainability of California’s urban landscapes. They help achieve multiple benefits, including greater water-use efficiency, stormwater management, groundwater recharge, green waste reduction, and embedded energy savings.

The guidelines are intended to help homeowners think more sustainably when evaluating, planting, building and maintaining landscapes. The concept of "sustainable landscapes" takes the approach that every garden is a mini-watershed, holding on to or cleaning all the water that falls on it and nurturing a diverse habitat of plants and insects.

The Water Authority offers several educational programs to assist homeowners in learning about and implementing sustainable practices in their landscapes:

The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series is a four-class, award-winning series developed and led by local landscape industry professionals to help homeowners convert turf areas into low-water-use gardens that love San Diego's climate.

The WaterSmart Landscape Design for Homeowners Workshop is a three-hour version of the makeover series for those who cannot attend all four classes in the full series. This workshop is designed to assist homeowners' turf conversion efforts to create a garden that is lifestyle-friendly.

For professionals looking for certification, Watershed Wise Landscape Professional training will be held in San Diego the last week of January.