In 2007 the State of California’s mandated reducing water usage by 20% before the year 2020. We have already met that goal. In 2014, the City's declaration of Drought Stage 2 and we were able to conserve 29% over 2013. We continue to look for ways to be more efficient with our water resources in addition to the reductions that have already been achieved.
Irrigation Practices We have committed to achieving a 30% reduction in irrigation water use to comply with the Drought Stage 3 requirements. Medians and streetscapes irrigated with potable water are required to follow the same watering day restrictions as other commercial users. We are not watering public medians with ornamental turf so that we may comply with the Governor's Executive Order of April 1, 2015. The only public medians with turf are located on Douglas Boulevard. We are currently changing the irrigation in the affected medians on Douglas Boulevard so that we are able to continue to water the trees without also irrigating the turf.
While parks are not subject to watering day restrictions since they are heavily used by the community for recreation, they are still required to reduce irrigation by 30%. Park irrigation schedules are largely based off of evapotranspiration rates (ET) and then programmed by staff to meet that need.
ET rates provide exactly the amount of water loss through plant use and evaporation. This is measured by staff using soil probes and calculated by plant types. You may see several days of water in a row, as it is supplied incrementally to replenish what was lost. Parks staff and contractors reduce the percentage not the days of water based on ET to achieve our reduction. For example, if the ET called for 1 gallon, parks irrigates with 3/4 of a gallon. This is a much more efficient way to deliver irrigation water. Parks is able to achieve an overall reduction in water use while optimizing plant health even though you will see water on multiple days and sometimes on multiple days in a row.
Priority Water Scheduling In order to meet the 30% irrigation reduction required by the drought municipal code, we have chosen to prioritize trees and actively used recreation areas including sports field, open grassy areas where families may play catch and pools. You may notice streetscapes and non-functional turf begin to appear stressed. Non-functional turf is a section of grass that is not utilized for recreational activities such as open play, cultural and sports events, athletic activities and picnics. The primary purpose of non-functional turf is aesthetic or ornamental.
Grass Conversion Program We have converted some landscape areas from non-functional grass to drought friendly landscapes. We are actively working to find resources to further grass conversions projects. Below are the grass conversion projects we have completed since January 2015 along with the estimated water savings per year. Click on the location name for an overview of the areas that are now drought friendly versus the functional turf areas.
Alternative Water Resources We currently used recycled water in 25% of our parks, including our two golf courses, and even more streetscapes. Recycled water is produced at both of the City's wastewater treatment facilities. Recycled water has been treated to the highest level required by the California Department of Health Services and is approved for many uses, except drinking. Because recycled water is made from water waste and isn't drinkable, it isn't subject to the reductions required from the drought.
We are looking at ways to expand our use of recycled water to additional streetscapes and parks. We are currently in the planning stages of switching Mahany Park to recycled water. Mahany Park is 225 acres so having the ability to use recycled water would be a great asset to the community. We expect to begin this project in Summer 2015 and upon completion we estimate a savings of almost 152 million gallons of potable water per year. Learn more about recycled water.
We Need Your Help Although we are part of the City operations, we are also a water customer. Which means we are required to achieve the same 30% reduction as business customers in addition to paying the surcharge. While we perform regular checks of our irrigations systems, with tens of thousand of sprinkler heads throughout Roseville's streetscapes and 72 parks, we can't be everywhere at once. So if you see a broken sprinkler head or waterline, please let us know by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling (916) 774-5748 during regular business hours. Outside of regular business hours, call us at (916) 746-1274.