Save Water and Money by Xeriscaping

Water-wise front yard

Santa Monica home with xeriscaping, as featured in Sunset Magazine. Photo by Steve Gunther.

Let’s take a break from all this insurance talk and get on to the subject of saving money—and getting paid to do it! Sound too good to be true? Well, you do have to put in a little work.

Many of our insurance clients live in water-starved California, so the truth is all around you. In fact, saving water by reducing demanding landscapes (like ditching the front or back lawn) has inched up the “To-do” lists of many homeowners and business owners.

They even made up a word for it: Xeriscaping. Although it sounds like something from outer space, it describes landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. Employees of Colorado’s Denver Water first made the word popular in the early 1980s. Often other phrases are substituted to describe water-conserving landscaping, such as “drought-tolerant landscaping” and “smart-scaping”.

Whatever you call it, the use of xeriscaping to reduce demand for water importation or irrigation is becoming an everyday practice for most urban areas in the Southwest. Most important to know is that xeriscaping is not about curtailing all water usage, but simply changing practices, which can waste our precious water supplies.

Now, about the money-making side of xeriscaping. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, plus the family of Southern California Water Agencies has a program called SoCal Water$mart. You can receive rebates for installing weather-based irrigation controllers (from $80 per controller for an acre or less; $25 per irrigation station for larger sites), rotating sprinkler nozzles (from $4 per nozzle), and synthetic turf (from 30 cents per sq. ft.).

The San Diego County Water Authority offers a 20-Gallon Challenge. They provide free landscape surveys and has rebates for weather based irrigation controllers (from $230), synthetic turf (50cents per sq. ft.), and rotating nozzles (up to $4 each).

You can search the web by zip code for incentives and rebates in your specific area.
But back to insurance for a moment…there are rewards for home owners and business owners for practicing xeriscaping to remove water-starved vegetation that is tinder dry. We here at BMR would be happy to sit down with you over a cup of coffee and discuss fire hazards that often surround many homes in our local communities. Our BMR specialists care about your safety. Call us at 714-838-1911. We are here to help you save money and protect your assets.

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