Water Rate Increase Begins September 1 for City of San Diego
On September 1st, the City of San Diego will increase water rates by 4.82%. This will help pay for water reliability and infrastructure improvements. Combined with the 1.46% increase in water rates from the San Diego County Water Authority, this brings the total water rate increase to 6.28%. The higher revenue will cover the maintenance and replacement of water pipelines, as well as continued water quality testing.
While a 6.28% water rate increase may not seem like a lot, it can mean steeper bills across large commercial property portfolios. In addition, this increase could cause difficulties if property managers didn’t budget for it. Furthermore, experts estimate that as much as 50% water used in landscaping is wasted due to over-watering. This is often caused by inefficiencies in irrigation methods and systems. So, there’s a lot that can be done to cut back on water use.
The good news is that that there are ways to reduce water consumption and help counteract the increase in water rates.
Counteract the Water Rate Increase with Landscape Irrigation Tactics:
Upgraded Sprinkler System
Updating traditional sprinkler heads to MP Rotator nozzles is an easy way to conserve water. These nozzles slow down the water application rate and allow soil to absorb the maximum amount of water. Instead of spraying (or in some sad cases, “misting”) water, MP Rotators distribute multiple streams of water at a steady rate. They are an especially great choice in high-wind areas. Updating to MP Rotators is a smart water conservation strategy. They increase efficiency, decrease water runoff and reduce water use by up to 30%!
Drip irrigation is one of the best ways to prevent water loss from evaporation or runoff. It can be 90%-95% more efficient than sprays and rotors. A drip irrigation system delivers water slowly and precisely at low pressure to the root zone of a tree or plant. As a result, it reduces over-watering and water waste. It works well when used in non-turf areas such as planter beds, flower gardens or hard-to-reach water areas. Drip systems are also useful in high-traffic zones, windy areas or areas with mixed plantings.
Weather-Based Irrigation Controller
These irrigation controllers, also known as “smart” controllers, reduce water use by about 15%. They automatically adjust watering times based on local weather data and site conditions (i.e., plant type, slope, soil type, etc.). Water will not be wasted since the irrigation system will be calibrated specifically to the local weather conditions. It will automatically reduce watering times as the weather gets cooler and less water is needed. This also eliminates the need for manual water adjustments that are necessary with traditional controllers, so you can rest assured knowing that your property is always getting the correct amount of water.
Turf Conversion/Lawn Elimination
Removing turf grass is one of the most impactful changes a property manager can make to reduce water usage on their property. Often, turf grass on commercial properties is under-utilized; no one plays, lounges, or even steps foot on the grass (unless it’s to mow it). If this is the case, then it makes sense to convert turf to drought-tolerant plants with low water requirements. California native plants are an especially good addition to the landscaping. They thrive in a San Diego climate and require less fertilizers and pesticides to stay healthy. Be sure to check out our Native Plant Guide to get some ideas on plant selection!
Water-Saving Rebates for Commercial Properties
As of August 2019, cash rebates are still available for all the water-saving irrigation strategies listed above that can counteract the new water rate increase. To learn more about available rebates for landscaping and other commercial devices, click here. To get more information about commercial turf replacement, click here.
Contact Us For Landscape Irrigation Needs
If you'd like to speak to a water-saving expert, we’re here to help! We have landscape irrigation technicians on staff that can help answer any questions you have or manage landscape irrigation projects. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today at (760) 598-7065.