Saturday, December 10 , 2016, 3:48 pm | Partly Cloudy 65º


Santa Barbara County Residents Urged to Enter WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest

The first WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest is being launched this spring to promote attractive and water-efficient gardens in Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and participating local water providers are encouraging residents to apply for the contest online to enter into the running for an agency award and the countywide grand prize. Winners will have their landscapes featured online, receive an award and nursery gift certificates, and more.

Eligible residents may view contest rules and can apply online by clicking here. All applications are due by May 31.

Residents of single-family homes are eligible to apply if they reside in areas served by: the water districts of Goleta, Carpinteria Valley and Montecito, and the cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc.

With current levels of rainfall in Santa Barbara County being only 51 percent of average in mid-March, the new program is a timely way to promote water conservation.

“Water conservation is always encouraged and valued in every area of Santa Barbara County,” said Tom Fayram, deputy director of public works for Santa Barbara County. “Each one of us makes a difference in how we use water and how much water goes to our gardens every day. When our rainfall levels are lower than usual, as they are now, we are even more aware of living in a semi-arid climate. But we can and do have many examples of beautiful yet water-efficient gardens.”

Fifty to 70 percent of water use in an average Santa Barbara County home goes toward landscape irrigation. Water wise gardens can greatly reduce landscape water use, save a lot of money, and be beautiful and easy to maintain as well.

There are dozens of easy ways to make a garden more water efficient, such as choosing water wise plants, installing a smart irrigation controller, or simply using the online Weekly Watering Index to adjust your existing sprinkler timer based on the weather.

Click here to learn about more ways to save water in your landscape and to apply for the WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest. Let’s save together!

— Len Fleckenstein represents the Santa Barbara County Water Agency.

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