Municipal Water Disrict of Orange County
ISSUE 6, VOLUME 8, July 2014
Message to Our Readers

July is Smart Irrigation Month! To mark the occasion, the Municipal Water District of Orange County would like to share with you some of the exciting things we're doing to save water. First, we've increased our turf removal rebate to $2.00 (or more) per square foot to allow residents, businesses, and public agencies to get even more money for replacing living grass with beautiful California Friendly landscapes. Second, we're offering OC residents a free Home Water Survey with a custom report that outlines your home's water use and identifies water-saving opportunities. Third, our Water Smart Landscape Program is helping homeowner associations, landscapers, and property managers track - and appropriately manage - a property's water use, which can lead to tremendous water savings. And finally, we're getting ready to launch a new program to help residents fine-tune their watering schedule. Beginning in August 2014, the California Sprinkler Adjustment Notification System (CSANS) will provide weekly or monthly emails to residents with the current watering recommendation for manual-adjust sprinkler timers.


Now that we've told you a little about what we're doing, we hope you'll be motivated to take action as well. During the month of July, we encourage you to make simple changes to reduce your daily water use. Whether it's replacing old water-guzzling devices with new water-efficient ones, participating in a free California Friendly gardening class (available online or in-person), or taking advantage of our free Home Water Survey program, there's something everyone can do to reduce their water use. Thank you for your efforts to use water wisely during Smart Irrigation Month!


Reduce Your Summer Outdoor Water Use
By MWDOC Water Use Efficiency Staff

Summer's rising temperatures often coincide with rising outdoor water use, primarily due to an increase in landscape watering. In most areas, the amount of water homeowners use to keep their lawns green or gardens lush spikes in the summer - two to four times more water than they use the rest of the year! And those with timed outdoor watering systems often forget to monitor the weather or set their irrigation controllers back in the fall, leading to more overwatering during the cooler months.


Here are some tips for keeping your water use under control:

  • Timing is everything: Know how much water your landscape actually needs. Generally, it's best to water lawns and landscapes in the early morning and late evening because water can be lost due to wind drift and evaporation during the heat of the day.
  • Get smart: Upgrade to a rebate-eligible WaterSense labeled Smart Timer. Smart Timers act like a thermostat for your landscape, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water, which reduces waste and improves plant health. 
  • Tune up your system:
    Inspect irrigation systems and check for leaks, overspray, and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the sidewalk, street, or driveway. Replace old spray heads with rebate-eligible rotating nozzles.  
Full Article >>

Get Water Smart at Home

By MWDOC Water Use Efficiency Staff  


Are you interested in doing your part at home, but having a hard time knowing where to begin? The Water Smart Home Program may be just what you need to get started.


This FREE program includes a Home Water Survey of your property and a detailed Home Water Use report with water-saving recommendations and rebate opportunities on water efficient devices. Participants can choose an outdoor-only survey, which looks primarily at the landscape and irrigation system, or an indoor and outdoor survey, which also detects possible leaks and looks at the water-using devices inside the home. Additionally, this Program offers single-family homeowners the opportunity to certify their house as a Water Smart Home!



Smart Solutions for Large Landscapes  

By MWDOC Water Use Efficiency Staff  

Facilities with large, maintained landscapes - such as schools, office buildings, hotels, and parks - devote as much as 30 percent of their water use to keeping plants and turfgrass healthy. Experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of this water is wasted due to overwatering caused by inefficiencies in irrigation methods and systems. By tracking monthly water use and installing rebate-eligible WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers (instead of standard clock timers), your facility can be part of the solution to better water management. The result will be reduced water waste, lower utility bills, and beautiful, water efficient landscapes.

The Water Smart Landscape Program (formerly called the Landscape Performance Certification Program) is a FREE  water management tool for homeowner associations, landscapers, and property managers. Participants in the program use the Internet to track their irrigation meters' monthly water use and compare it to a custom water budget. This enables property managers and landscapers to easily identify areas that are over/under watered and enhances their accountability to homeowner association boards and property owners. A recent study shows that irrigation meters enrolled in this program save an average of 765 gallons of water per day compared to those meters that are not part of the program.

Successful Emergency Programs Are a Team Effort

By Kelly Hubbard, Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County 


In order to build a successful emergency program that fits your organization and all its moving parts, it is important that the program is built by the organization as a whole. Creating an emergency program that is a team effort is simple and scalable.  


First, the team should have a primary responsible individual who coordinates the efforts, guides the team and collects or implements the efforts of the group. This doesn't need to be an emergency coordinator by trade, but rather an individual who works well with a group and can focus its efforts.  


Second is identifying the team. Ideally it would include a representative from every major division, department or area of expertise within the agency, as well as a cross-section of the organization laterally. The idea here is that the team is diverse. Each team member brings with them different knowledge and background as an individual. Whether your planning team meets regularly, as needed, or even virtually, this concept will require a time commitment from all departments and levels of the organization. Therefore the development and continued participation in a team process must have the support of management. Participants need to be provided with the ability (time and support) to not only participate in meetings, but to actively contribute to the effort.  

Lastly, I have found that the most successful teams are those in which the individuals volunteer to participate. It is those teams that tackle the big issues, stick to them, and find a way to make them happen because they choose to be part of the process.  


Keep an eye out next month for the second installment in this series on how to develop a successful emergency program one piece at a time!   


Board of Directors
MWDOC Board of Directors
Calendar of Events

July 21 @ 8:30 am:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting 

July 23 @ 8:30 am:

MWDOC/OCWD Joint Planning Committee Meeting

August 4
@ 8:30 am:

Planning & Operations Committee Meeting

August 6 @ 8:30 am:
Workshop Board Meeting 

August 11 @ 8:30 am:
Public Affairs & Legislation Committee Meeting

August 13 @ 8:30 am:
Administration & Finance Committee Meeting
For information on MWDOC meetings and events, please click on the calendar icon, above.

"In your opinion, which water use efficiency offerings are most beneficial?" 
  • Free home water survey  
  • Free CA Friendly gardening classes 
  • Rebates on water efficient devices
  • Turf removal rebate
  • Water saving tips
Take this quick one-question poll...Results will be displayed after every vote. 


The July 30th Water Policy Forum & Dinner is shaping up to be our biggest event yet!

Space is filling up quickly for the July 30th Water Policy Forum & Dinner featuring keynote speaker Randy Record, who was recently elected Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Record and hear firsthand what he hopes to accomplish as he takes the Chairman's seat at the largest urban water supplier in the United States.  Online registration is available now through the link below.

A limited number of reserved tables for eight or 10 are also available by contacting Tiffany Baca ( or 715.593.5013).

We hope to see you there!
Register Now! >>

eCurrents Readers Cast Their Votes for Desal...
Last month we asked eCurrents readers whether or not they feel Orange County should move forward with ocean desalination. Not surprisingly, desal turned out to be a hotly debated issue, and throngs of eCurrents readers responded to our poll. Here are the results...

  -54% are ready to move forward with desal
  -33% are not in favor of desal at this time
  -13% are still undecided

Thanks to everyone who cast their vote. It certainly helps us gauge the sentiments of our readers!

MWDOC Desal Info >>

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Municipal Water District of Orange County
Phone: (714) 963-3058 | Fax: (714) 964-9389 | 

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