How HOAs in the Desert Can Make a Difference

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The presentation to the Desert Cities HOA Council was designed to inform homeowner HOA Board members of important water and irrigation issues facing Coachella Valley. In light of recent decisions from the California State Water Board, there is an intense focus on managing run-off in urban and suburban areas, as well as an overview of Turf Buyback Programs and other rebates related to reducing use of potable water. This presentation was created by Jessyca Frederick, Co-Founder and CEO of Water Wise Now (waterwisenow.com) a start-up business whose mission is helping homeowners use less water in the landscape.

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  • 1. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Urban Water Use in the Coachella Valley Current topics in water use for Coachella Valley HOAs and homeowners

2. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com About the Desert Horticultural Society of Coachella Valley Local professionals and residents from a variety of backgrounds, united in our interest to encourage and promote what many call desert landscaping in the Coachella Valley. The Desert Horticultural Society of the Coachella Valley has two primary motivations: o Water Conservation o Landscapes That Support Local Wildlife Membership includes the following: o Admission to Annual Garden Tour o Monthly Field Trips o Spring & Fall Plant Exchanges o Special Presentations at Membership Meetings o Volunteer Opportunities 9th Annual Desert Garden Community Day - A free and fun event o October 18th at The Living Desert A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization 3. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Introduction Qualifications o Education & Experience o Water Wise Now, working with homeowners Information Sources o Licensed Landscape Contractor o Local Water Districts 4. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Water Districts & Their Roles The Desert Water Agency Coachella Valley Water District Mission Springs Water District Public Water Agencies exist to meet local needs of delivering safe, reliable water at a price the public can afford. Indio Water Authority Coachella Water Authority Myoma Dunes District 5. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Water Sources for Coachella Valley Aquifer o Nearly all of the urban water used in CV comes from the aquifer, even if it didnt originate there Colorado River imports o Mostly agricultural water and golf courses Some surface water o A small percentage of water from local streams Recycled water o Nonpotable water distributed to public entities and golf courses 6. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com What Can an HOA Do About Water? Make changes to community landscapes to be more water efficient Help educate homeowners on what they can do individually o Rebate & Turf Buyback Programs o Best practices for desert irrigation Set an example for other HOAs and non-associated homeowners 7. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com What an HOA CANT Do Right Now... David-Stirling Act: The bylaws and rules & regulations of a common interest development (including HOAs), can not prohibit, or create conditions that essentially prohibit, the use of low water-using plants as a group. This excludes any guidelines and informal policies which can penalize or fine homeowners who dont keep their grass green enough. Pending Legislation: In response to our current Drought Emergency, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of the 80th Assembly District in San Diego proposed an amendment to Section 4735 of the Civil Code to close this loophole, further preventing any CID or HOA from prohibiting the replacement of existing turf with low-water landscape plants through architectural or landscaping guidelines or policies. An amendment to AB 2014 is currently in the Transportation & Housing Committee in the Senate (as of April 22, 2014). Governor Brown Executive Order: Homeowners Associations (commonly known as HOAs) have reportedly fined or threatened to fine homeowners who comply with water conservation measures adopted by a public agency or private water company. To prevent this practice, pursuant to Government Code section 8567, I order that any provision of the governing document, architectural or landscaping guidelines, or policies of a common interest development will be void and unenforceable to the extent it has the effect of prohibiting compliance with the water-saving measures contained in this directive, or any conservation measure adopted by a public agency or private water company, any provision of Division 4, Part 5 (commencing with section 4000) of the Civil Code notwithstanding. PLEASE NOTE: Im not a lawyer. I havent done my own legal analysis. 8. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Top Water Waste Sources in HOAs Run-off (can be managed) o Community areas o Individual homes Seasonal Occupants o Dont know when maintenance issues arise o Rely on landscapers; not all competent Scheduling & Controllers o Different issues for seasonal occupants and year-round occupants o Overseeding in the Fall 9. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com How to Manage Run-off Idea # 1 - Sprinklers with Check Valves Near the Street One reason runoff happens in our front yards is an artifact of the way the irrigation system shuts down on slopes. Water in the underground pipes bleeds out of the lowest sprinkler in the line. There are special sprinkler bodies that you can buy that have a check-valve built into them, preventing that system water from flooding out of the spray head. Rain Bird makes them, they're called SAM Series. You only need one for each valve, and they are placed at the lowest head on the line. 10. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com How to Manage Run-off Idea # 2 - Cycle-Soak Irrigation with the Controller The idea is that you run the sprinkler for the same length of time, but you break it up into three or more watering cycles. If you live in an area with clay soils (like La Quinta), or where the soil is heavily compacted (like any housing development), irrigation timers should be set up to run on the Cycle-Soak method. Instead of running it once a day for 16 minutes in July, as suggested by CVWD, you would run it three times a day, 15-60 minutes apart, for 5 minutes each. Adjust up or down based on sun exposure or shade. 11. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com How to Manage Run-off Idea # 3 - High-tech, Efficient Sprinkler Nozzles To help reduce run-off, we can replace our regular sprinkler nozzles with Hunter MP Rotator nozzles. These nozzles apply water at 1/4 the rate of normal sprinkler nozzles. They prevent run-off by applying water slowly, allowing it to infiltrate our soils, instead of pooling on the surface of the grass and running into the street. This fix means you'll need to adjust your irrigation to run longer than the CVWD recommendation, but if installed correctly will drastically reduce the amount of water you need to apply overall. You will need to regulate your pressure to 40 psi to run these nozzles. You can purchase an inline pressure regulator for installation on each valve where you'll be replacing the nozzles or one for your mainline after it splits to the landscape. 12. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com How to Manage Run-off Idea # 4 - Pressure Regulation Pressure regulation is really important. Many desert communities have very high pressure. At our house it's 80psi. This is much too high for a residential irrigation system and has negative consequences. First, it atomizes water as it comes through the sprinkler nozzlesthat misting effect you've no doubt seen. This misting causes a lot of water to not reach the plants, but simply blow away in the air or evaporate. By reducing the water pressure you will increase the efficiency of all your irrigation. The second negative consequence of too much pressure is excessive wear-and-tear. It causes sprinkler heads to blow out more often than they should and often causes fittings on drip irrigation to come loose, creating leaks. 13. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com How to Manage Run-off Idea # 5 - Wind Sensor We live in a windy area. Running sprinklers when the wind is blowing is futile. Little of the water goes where you want it. There is a wind sensor you can purchase and install which will automatically shut off your sprinklers when it's windy and resets them back on when the wind slows down. Hunter makes the Wind-Clik and it's compatible with all automatic controllers. 14. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com About Irrigation Maintenance and Modernization Irrigation equipment is very cheap. The labor to make many of the changes suggested here is not significant, and much of it can be done by a homeowner who is prepared. It is entirely possible your gardener won't know about these products and methods, and won't know how to execute them. You may want to hire a professional landscape contractor to execute these suggestions. Whenever possible, hire a licensed landscape contractor and verify their license is current. Irrigation installation is not a good place to skimp. 15. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Turf Buy Back Programs IMPORTANT o All programs require you to get approval before you begin. Dont tear out any grass before you get approved! o The approval process usually includes a visit from a water official or for you to submit photographs of your yard and lawn. Programs Differ by City, not Water Agency o Rebate amount o Procedure o Details by city: http://bit.ly/CVTurfBuyBackPrograms 16. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Other Rebate and Incentive Programs in CV Desert Water Agency o DWA will install / program a Smart Controller for freehttp://www.dwa.org/Controller o High-Efficiency Toilet Rebate Program http://www.dwa.org/Toilet-Rebate-Program o Works with HOAs DWA works with associations to conserve. They recommend all HOAs participate in a water audit as a first step in saving water.http://www.dwa.org/Homeowner-Association- Water-Use 17. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Other Rebate and Incentive Programs in CV Coachella Valley Water District http://www.cvwd.org/conservation/rebates.php High-efficiency Toilet Rebate Program Smart Irrigation Controllers (discount) Efficient Sprinkler Nozzles More information on water conservation from our water agenices: http://www.cvwatercounts.com 18. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Upcoming Mandatory Restrictions Restrictions & Enforcement Vary by District Urban Water Management Plan http://www.water.ca.gov/urbanwatermanagement/2010uwmps/ > Water Contingency Section > First level of Mandatory restrictions EFFECTIVE AUG 1: With this regulation, all Californians will be expected to stop: washing down driveways and sidewalks; watering of outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; using a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless the hose is fitted with a shut- off nozzle, and using potable water in a fountain or decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated. The regulation makes an exception for health and safety circumstances. Larger water suppliers will be required to activate their Water Shortage Contingency Plan to a level where outdoor irrigation restrictions are mandatory. 19. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Examples of Local Restrictions DWA - Water Supply Shortage Alert Prohibitions Using potable water to wash hard surfaces Irrigating during daytime hours Using potable water in water features & ponds Serving water where food is sold unless expressly requested 20. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Examples of Local Restrictions CVWD - Stage 1 & 2 Restrictions No irrigation between 6am and 6pm Irrigation only three times per week No run-off from irrigation 21. Presentation by Jessyca Frederick of Water Wise Now: http://waterwisenow.com Thank you! Any questions? Jessyca@WaterWiseNow.com Download this presentation: