Starter Rates for Starter Gardens

By Silvia Gutierrez, GMC EDITOR

WaterWise is proud to announce a new contract awarded by Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) for Residential, Commercial and Large Landscape Surveys and Residential Turf Removal Services.

IRWD is a public agency that provides water, wastewater collection and treatment, recycled water programs and runoff treatment services for the residents of Central Orange County, California. Its service area encompasses the cities of Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Costa Mesa and unincorporated areas of Orange County. IRWD has 370,000 residential customers in their service area.

WaterWise will design and create customized gardens or “starter gardens” for interested customers from start to finish. They will discuss expectations and overall desired garden designs.

After applying for the service, customers will be required to make a low initial investment of $3 per square foot of landscape. The agency will supplement the investment with $2 per square foot, for a total of $5 per square foot. Homeowners wishing to add on to their gardens will have the option to make larger investments.

WaterWise’s Director of Operations, Brian Duvardo, will be handling the program.

Duvardo states that the beauty of this program is that customers will be able to work with a contractor and landscaping consultant at an affordable price.

Five years ago, Duvardo was involved in a pilot program with LADWP in partnership with TreePeople for rain guard installations. 250 water-capturing rain guards were installed in the San Fernando Valley. In 2013, he worked with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency on a program called the Landscape Transformation Program. Homeowners were given designs to choose from. Gardens were installed from beginning to end, which involves turf removal, drip irrigation and the induction of new plants and mulch—similar to the turf removal process for the starter gardens. And more recently, Duvardo worked with the City of Upland to redesign and install a large California native and friendly show garden at Upland’s Public Works facility.

The turf removal process will not be performed until spring time. Turf killed before then would result in it coming back up during growing season.

WaterWise is looking forward to servicing IRWD’s customers.

Below are some before and after pictures

drought tolerant plants


drought tolerant plants


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