Water Conservation Tips



La Plaza Garden is a water-efficient demonstration garden that conserves valuable resources. The La Plaza Garden was designed by Sustainable Living Designs, a well known permaculture design firm.

Located in the heart of Cotati, the garden features drought-tolerant plants, water harvesting techniques, and habitat for birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.

To establish the La Plaza Garden, the plants were initially hand-watered after planting in November and December 2008. The plants have not required water since this initial establishment period, but will have a drip irrigation system installed in May 2009.

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For large landscaped areas, it makes sense to be as accurate as possible with turf and landscaping water needs to lower water use and water bills. Several weather stations are located in the region to provide evapotranspiration data to be used to create accurate water budgets and water schedules. For daily evapotranspiration data for the Santa Rosa area, click on the link below, then click on the "data reports" option on the upper left corner of the web page, then click on the sample report option and select Sonoma County.


A basic formula for developing a water budget for your site measured in CCF (100 cubic feet of water or 748 gallons) per year is (Eto x crop co-efficient) - (effective rainfall x square feet / 1,200) / 52 = CCF week

For more information on creating water budgets for your site, please contact the Sonoma County Water Agency's Water Conservation Program at (707) 547-1906.

Another great source of irrigation information and training is the Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center in San Luis Obispo. They can be reached by calling (805) 756-2434.


Water use reduction is the most direct and efficient water conservation measure that we as individuals and as a community, can take. Landscaping and gardening is one of the biggest areas of water use and in these times of water shortage, it is even more essential to save water. For a list of water conserving plants, garden tours and galleries and other landscaping conservation tips visit the following website provided by the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA): http://www.sonoma.watersavingplants.com/default.php

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