City of Carlsbad resident Claudia Kuepper has been honored as a winner of the annual California-Friendly Landscape Contest, which recognizes San Diegans who achieve water conservation through water-efficient landscaping.
Kuepper, who resides in the Olivenhain Municipal Water District in southern Carlsbad, was recognized after she installed a water-saving landscape design that reduced her water bill by 50 percent.
To achieve her water savings, Kuepper replaced all of her yard’s turf grass with water-saving plants, converted most of the yard’s irrigation to a drip system and installed four 50-gallon barrels that catch rainwater for later use.
“The crux of a successful garden is an efficient irrigation system and a good design,” said Kuepper, a La Costa resident and professional landscape designer who specializes in water-wise gardens.
Kuepper said she took advantage of a rebate program sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California that reimbursed homeowners for ripping up grass lawns and replacing them with water-efficient plants. The rebate program has since ended.
“My garden had yucky, ugly dead grass and I needed to replace it,” she said. She planted foliage that is suitable for a semi-arid Mediterranean climate.
“My water bill went down significantly, by half,” said Kuepper.
Kuepper advised anyone wishing to duplicate her achievement to educate themselves on installing a drip irrigation system and replacing turf grass with Mediterranean plants and succulents or hire a professional. She said the City of Carlsbad website offers good information.
The California-Friendly Landscape Contest is held annually by water agencies in San Diego County to showcase attractive landscapes that use less water than conventional turf-heavy landscapes. Contest entries are judged on curb appeal, landscape and irrigation design and environmental considerations.