West Basin Municipal Water District partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to develop the Ocean Friendly Landscape Program. The California Department of Water Resources awarded West Basin funding for the project, which is comprised of 4 major components:
- Construction of Ocean Friendly Demonstration Gardens at public sites
- Free “Hands-on-Workshops” for customers
- Installation of smart sprinkler controllers for large landscapes
- Distribution of smart sprinkler controllers (WBICs) for residents through free exchange events and through increased rebates.
The Ocean Friendly Demonstration Garden is based on the principal of creating gardens that are aesthetically pleasing and promote the conservation, permeability and retention of water. West Basin partners with the Surfrider Foundation to provide valuable workshops to help residents landscape more efficiently by building ocean friendly demonstration gardens.
First, participants attend a California Friendly Landscape Training Class hosted by Metropolitan Water District. The free class shows participants how to create a sustainable and beautiful garden with drought-tolerant plants and water. Classes are open to the public. Registration is required.
Then, at a hands-on-workshop held at the demonstration garden location, residents learn about permeable pavement, drought-tolerant and native plants, the proper use of mulch and smart irrigation equipment including weather-based irrigation controllers (WBICs). The workshops teach and have participants apply methods that reduce water consumption, runoff and ocean pollution.
What does "Ocean Friendly" mean?
"Ocean Friendly" revolves around Conservation, Permeability and Retention or (CPR), all with the aim of conserving water while still creating aesthetically pleasing gardens.
This project addresses runoff problems and reduces outdoor water usage by 20 to 50 percent by providing information about WBICs and native plant landscaping. The target landscape sites include large landscapes, schools, parks, homeowner associations, business parks, facility landscapes, street medians, and residential sites more than 1,500 square feet that are the top water users in the area. This program is implemented throughout the West Basin service area.
Weather Based Irrigation Controllers (WBIC)
One major aspect of developing Ocean Friendly Landscapes involves managing irrigation water appropriately. New technology such as Weather Based Irrigation Controllers, or WBIC's, have rain sensors that will stop the system from irrigating during rain events. These controllers are an important step for both homeowners and businesses to automate their irrigation system and avoid watering their landscape when it is already soaking wet!
As a part of the Ocean Friendly Landscape Program, West Basin periodically holds WBIC Exchange Events where customers can register to attend a quick, 30-minute training on how to install and operate the Weather Based Irrigation Controllers. After the training, residents trade in their older, inefficient controllers for a new WBIC, completely free! The older controllers are then taken to an E-Waste (electronic waste) recycling facility in the area, so that customers can be certain they are conserving more than just water. To participate in a WBIC Exchange Event, keep an eye on our Upcoming Events page, where we will post details about registration and upcoming dates.