Our drought concerns in San Diego have eased somewhat, at least for this year ? Water rationing has been relaxed in the landscape with new, easier-to-achieve conservation targets? This is good but temporary news at best. As we know, cycles of drought always return, most likely sooner than later. This year spells relief but next…who knows? And even as restrictions are eased, water prices only go higher. As one water district spokesman puts it, “we have fixed costs so don’t expect prices to drop.” And the price increases for this year are already set; we won’t get a break.
It will be interesting to see how the public reacts as restrictions are eased. I am guessing that Californians will continue to save as much water as they can. Water from the tap is expensive and it just makes economic sense to save water and hence money. It will be an interesting year for landscape professionals; my design clients continue to ask for gardens renovated with water wise plants and water- efficient irrigation systems. It is the way of the future, even though we are getting a temporary reprieve from the water police.
Sustainable or so-called 'green' building practices transfer easily into the landscape and are not only good for the environment but save money as well. In little more than a decade, 'green' building construction and planning dictates have gone from futuristic to the mainstream of architectural practice. The future has arrived, the era of waste not and want not is here, and nowhere is that more obvious than in landscape design. SMART controllers, evapo-transpiration rates, micro-irrigation, rain capture systems, permeable paving, and many other terms were once only stored in the vocabulary of those holding landscape architecture degrees. Homeowners are doing their homework and discovering both new and traditional eco-friendly landscape practices that make sense in their own yards.