Santa Margarita Water District is committed to providing our large landscape customers the resources, tools, and incentives they need to efficiently manage water and maintain healthy aesthetic landscapes.
CALIFORNIA WATER BOARD DROUGHT CONSERVATION EMERGENCY REGULATION (LINK)
Additional Prohibitions to Civil Code section 4735(c) for HOA's:
An HOA cannot issue a fine or assessment on a homeowner for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation of lawns during a state or locally-declared drought emergency. HOA's may still apply landscaping rules within the governing documents that establish reasonable design, maintenance, and quality restrictions.
Budget-Based Rates & Weather
SMWD has recently established two new weather stations with the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) that will be used to measure evapotranspiration (ET). CIMIS provides monthly, daily, and hourly weather data for easy retrieval 24/7. Station Number 241 is located in San Clemente and Station Number 245 is located in Coto de Caza. View the ET Water Stations data.
The District will implement a budget-based tiered rate system for irrigation accounts, beginning January 1, 2016. This will apply to both domestic and non-domestic (recycled) irrigation accounts. Read an informational flyer (PDF) that explains how water budgets are calculated. View specific information about the rate system.
Irrigation Rebates: The SoCal WaterSmart regional rebate program is available to SMWD customers, courtesy of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP): Receive funding for customized water efficiency projects. The payment amount is up to $0.60 per 1,000 gallons saved per year over the project life, capped at a maximum of 10 years. Incentives are limited to 50% of eligible project costs.
Free Landscape Irrigation Surveys: A certified landscape auditor will conduct a comprehensive review of the irrigation system and provide a written report.
Resources & Tools
OC Plants Directory: The District has developed this website to help customers view and select low water use plants that work in our community. Galleries of example landscapes from SMWD’s service area can be viewed and clicked on for specific information about that plant.
Performance-Based Irrigation Management Contract Template: This template contract is available for HOAs to use in combination with the free Water-Smart Landscape Program (see above). HOAs and property managers can build into their landscape maintenance contracts mechanisms to ensure landscapes are managed efficiently.
Classes & Workshops
California Landscape Contractors Association: Find the latest certification programs, workshops, and webinars on the CLCA website.
HOA & Large Landscape Luncheon
December 16, 2015
We are nearly seven months into California’s 9-month mandatory conservation declaration which required Santa Margarita Water District and its customers to reduce water use by 24% from 2013 levels. We invite our Large Landscape stakeholders to another Luncheon as we share success stories to data and discuss the District’s new budget-based tiered rate structure that will be implemented in January as well as discuss the possibility of an extension to the State’s mandatory conservation. View the presentation (PDF).
April 15, 2015
California is the in 4th year of historic drought. Water supplies are being curtailed. SMWD has tools and incentives to help your organization prepare and deal with drought - but we need your help. Thank you to the many HOA board members, property managers, facility managers, and landscape contractors that attended this important event. View the presentation (PDF).