District hosts contest for water-wise

ENCINITAS — Have you done away with your water-guzzling lawn and planted a handsome xeriscape?Olivenhain Municipal Water District is inviting customers that have replaced turf with more climate-appropriate landscape materials to participate in the 2013 California-Friendly Landscape Contest. The deadline to apply is April 5 and applications are available at

“California-friendly” means having a well-maintained yard that uses less water. Since up to 80 percent of household water consumption is used outdoors, the contest was developed to reward homeowners who have explored the beauty of California-friendly plants and installed water-smart landscapes. The contest also brings attention to attractive, water-efficient landscapes that may inspire others to consider a landscape makeover.

Water-efficient landscaping helps conserve San Diego’s limited water supply and can lead to lower water bills. In addition to the aesthetic value that California-friendly plants have to offer, these plants often require less maintenance than their water-thirsty counterparts and many are fire-resistant.

Entries will be judged on such criteria as use of color and texture in the landscape, use of zoning techniques (grouping plants with similar water requirements), energy efficiency, creative use of hardscapes, and use of rain-harvesting to minimize water runoff.

The top three winners in the 2013 California-Friendly Landscape Contest will be recognized at OMWD’s May 1 board of directors meeting and in OMWD publications. First place will also receive a $250 prize at the regional awards ceremony at the Water Conservation Garden on May 18.

Other San Diego County water agencies are also participating in this annual landscape contest; visit for contact information.