UC ANR Research and Education Influences Landscape Water Conservation and Public Policy
UC has been heavily involved in research and extension efforts impacting landscape water conservation legislation for over 30 years. In 1981, UC implemented the California Irrigation Management Information System, a network of weather stations that provides data for local estimates of plant water needs. Those estimates led to UC being able to advise the California Legislature on policies for maximum applied water allowances for residential and large
landscaping projects. The allowances have been reduced significantly with UC guidance, and UC has helped landscapers to meet the increasingly restrictive requirements. Best practices that reduce water losses have been developed in collaboration with equipment manufacturers and landscaping specialists, and explained to end users. In addition, UC has developed the WUCOLS database, which classifies over 3,500 plants by their water needs. UC’s involvement in landscape water conservation continues on many fronts, developing science and contributing to policy.