Mandatory Water Restrictions
Recently the San Diego County Water Authority adopted level 2 water restrictions for water usage. The 24 water districts must each vote to enact these and any added water restrictions. You will need to contact your own water agency for the restrictions for your area. That being said, there is something you can do to conserve water in your landscaping.
Convert your plant beds and turf to drip irrigation.
There are many products out there to help you change your existing irrigation system to drip irrigation. Most of the time you can use the existing piping in the ground to retrofit a new drip system in your plant beds. We recommend installing these systems above ground, pinning down the drip tubing with garden staples then covering with mulch. Pressure regulators and filters will need to be installed for each valve running a drip system. Remember to never mix drip irrigation with regular pop up or shrub head sprays in your system. It is important to understand that drip irrigation requires much less pressure to operate. Drip systems trickle the water and are measured by GPH (gallons per hour) vs GPM (gallons per minute). Since the tubing is compressed together and not glued, normal water pressure that is used for your average irrigation system, will not work for drip irrigation. The tubing will blow apart at the fittings.
We like to use Netafim for our drip systems. This is tubing that has emitters that are incorporated into the tubing itself. After attaching to the valve or existing underground PVC, you can lay out this tubing, weaving it around your plants, or making a grid, and not need to worry about running individual emitters to each plant. Think of it as a soaker hose. Netafim can even be used for underground turf watering.
Conserving water, i.e. water restrictions, does not have to come at the expense of your landscaping. With some planning, new irrigation technology, and proper horticulture practices, we can all continue to enjoy our outdoor sanctuaries.