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Marsh McLean: Conserving and preserving our water is priority

Posted: May 15, 2014 7:08 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2014 7:08 p.m.

All Californians are being called on to protect one of our state’s most precious resources, water.

That’s why preserving and conserving water is a top priority for Santa Clarita right now, and our city is working closely with our local water agencies to make sure that we are all reducing our water use.

We’ve seen a combination of high temperatures and low rainfall. These facts follow a statewide trend as California faces its third drought-affected summer and some of the driest conditions on record.

It is extremely important for you to know that the city of Santa Clarita is also doing its part to reduce water consumption across the board.

In fact, the California Urban Water Council and our local water suppliers recently commended our city for its water conservation efforts.

The city’s Landscape Maintenance Districts are using “smart controllers” to keep our landscaped medians and neighborhoods throughout the city looking great with minimal watering.

In fact, by using smart controller technology, the city has saved more than 1 billion gallons of water over the past three and a half years.

The city also uses low-impact landscaping for city beautification projects, which allows for reduced watering for years into the future.

For example, landscaped medians along Lost Canyon now feature mulch instead of grass to reduce irrigation and evaporation — and new and innovative water-saving methods continue to be implemented.

These efforts are saving approximately 2 million gallons of water each year, and the amount conserved will continue to be increased, all while maintaining Santa Clarita’s beautiful aesthetics.
When it comes to water conservation, the city’s parks have long been ahead of the curve. For 20 years, the city has used smart controllers at 30 city parks to conserve and avoid over-watering.

Additionally, drought-tolerant turf grass is in place at Santa Clarita’s most popular sport fields, allowing the city to reduce watering.

In the summer months, many residents turn to the city’s eight pools to keep cool. City staff closely monitors water quality at city pools to allow them to be drained every other year, saving 1.9 million gallons of water in the process.

The Aquatics Center is also making laps when it comes to water conservation. The facility meets and exceeds state and federal water conservation standards, with features like automatic refill float systems that prevent pools from being overfilled.

The SCV Family of Water Suppliers is asking residents to cut back on their water use by 20 percent to help lessen the drought’s impact on our valley.

They are also providing several simple tips to help residents reduce household water usage. There are a number of ways for community members and businesses to easily reduce water use by 20 percent.

For example, “smart controllers” can save 24 gallons of water per day on irrigation by preventing over-watering.

Castaic Lake Water Agency is providing free smart controllers for residents who take a simple online course.

Just visit and click the “smart irrigation controller rebates” link to apply.

High-efficiency washing machines can also save 10 to 20 gallons of water per load, which means families can dramatically cut back on water use while decreasing their water bill.

To help residents make the switch to a smarter spin cycle, CLWA is offering a $200 rebate on high-efficiency clothes washers with a water factor of 4.0 or less. Be sure to check with a sales associate to make sure your selected machine applies.


Visit and click the “high efficient clothes washer rebates” link for details.

There are many ways residents can cut back on water usage at home. Reducing watering times and setting sprinklers to run between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. will save 25 gallons of water each time.

Sprinklers should also be adjusted to water plants, not the driveway and sidewalks, to save another 12 to 15 gallons each time they run.

Drip irrigation is also a helpful watering technique that saves 15 gallons of water each time it is used.

The city will continue to do its part — and working together, we can get through this drought.

To see more tips on how to turn back the tap on water usage and claim exclusive local rebates, visit the Castaic Lake Water Agency website at

Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at



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