June 2, 2015

SMWD Directors to Honor 'Water Heroes'

Santa Margarita Water District Directors on Wednesday will honor three SustainaBlue Water Heroes, kicking off a new program to showcase individuals and organizations that reduce their water use during California’s historic drought. 

Even with a comprehensive, $30 million plan to dramatically increase the use of recycled water and other initiatives, SMWD customers must reduce their water use to meet SMWD’s 24 percent reduction mandated by the state. The mandate took effect June 1. 

SMWD knows that customers are responding to calls to use water more efficiently. Some, however, are leading by example, making them true SustainaBlue Water Heroes.  SustainaBlue is SMWD’s initiative for outdoor water-use efficiency, including low water use plants, drip irrigation, keeping water on-site. Directors on Wednesday will honor: 

  • Jerry Rose of Rancho Santa Margarita, who cut water use in his family’s home by 54 percent between January and May of this year compared to last year.  He removed 1225 square feet of turf from his front yard, and replaced it with all drought tolerant plants, many of which are California natives.  He also incorporated a bio swale in his design, which helps to capture runoff from the property before it reaches the gutter.  Finally, he retrofitted his existing pop-up spray heads to more efficient drip irrigation.
  • Jan Johnson of Coto de Caza, who reduced water use at her six-unit residential property in Coto by an amazing 71 percent. Her son designed an amazing landscape transformation, going from a turf dominated yard to a low water use landscape with drip irrigation.
  • SAMLARC, the non-profit Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corp., which manages parks, open space, trails and lake in Rancho Santa Margarita. Even without the benefit of recycled water, SAMLARC has dramatically decreased the amount of water it uses, peaking at a 25 percent reduction. SAMLARC Directors are also moving forward with a plan to reduce turf with a SustainaBlue plant palette. 

Those honored Wednesday will receive a plaque, as well as a yard sign that proclaims them SustainaBlue Water Heroes. New heroes will be honored monthly; customers can send nominations to Public Information Manager Jonathan Volzke at jonathanv@smwd.com 

Directors meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at SMWD headquarters, 26111 Antonio Parkway. The public is welcome to attend. 

The Santa Margarita Water District is the second-largest in Orange County, providing water and wastewater service to 154,000 residents in Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera, Coto de Caza, Talega and part of Mission Viejo. 




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