Drought Tolerant Plants

Reasons to Use Drought Tolerant Plants

Looking for ways to conserve water is a fact of life in Southern California. Conserving this natural resource is a longtime community concern and council priority. On January 5, 1993, the Brea City Council adopted Ordinance No. 932 pertaining to Water Conserving Landscape in compliance with the State Water Conservation in Landscaping Act. The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce consumption of water in landscaping through various landscape and irrigation techniques.

City Ordinance

All new commercial and industrial projects and most new residential development must comply with Ordinance No. 932. Replacement or repair of existing landscape / irrigation systems are exempt, although the City of Brea encourages that landscaping / irrigation equipment be replaced / repaired with a water conserving landscape and irrigation system. Residential developments with more than two model homes must utilize water conserving landscaping and an irrigation system in at least one-half of the models listed for sale.

Plan Review

The Water Conserving Landscape Ordinance will be reviewed with you during Plan Review. Submitting your application and making the required deposit starts the Plan Review process. At this point a planner will be assigned as your project leader. He or she will serve as your liaison helping to expedite the permit process and coordinating any department reviews required. During this review process, your project leader will also explain the ordinance and give you a Water Conserving Landscape evaluation sheet, as well as any other necessary forms.

The ordinance uses a point system, which considers categories of landscaping and irrigation. By using the self-evaluation sheet as a guide, you will ensure that your project’s landscaping plan meets the requirements of the ordinance.

During the Plan Check phase just prior to the start of construction, your plans will be reviewed by a planner for compliance with the standards set forth by the Water Conserving Landscape Evaluation Sheet. Points are given for conserving water and utilizing conservation techniques. A project must receive a minimum of 80 points in both landscape and irrigation techniques.

Water Conserving Techniques

By grouping plants with similar water needs together by hydro-zone, they can normally be maintained by one level of irrigation, thereby conserving our precious water resources and avoiding over watering plants and wasting water.

Properly maintaining the landscape can also aid in water conservation. Deep watering plants encourages plants to grow deep roots thereby reducing the need for supplemental watering. In addition, eradicating plant diseases and pests can improve the plants ability to store water.

The chemical and physical properties of the soil are also important factors in saving water. Mulch can be utilized to reduce the evaporation of water form the soil by creating a protective barrier against water loss form the elements. This can be accomplished by applying a two to three inch layer of mulch around the plant. The addition of soil amendments such as peat moss and manure can improve the soil’s aeration and drainage capabilities.