Common practices used to maintain urban landscapes waste resources and pollute water and air. Currently, half of the water used in a home is for outdoor landscape irrigation. As the population of the state increases, so does urban water use. In recent years, agricultural water use has declined and environmental uses, although in high demand, are unchanged. Since there are no projected increases in water supply, there is a need to examine water use in urban landscapes.
Half of the pesticides used in the state are for non-agricultural uses: residential and commercial (structural). Pesticides and fertilizers are often misapplied in residential landscapes and when combined with poor irrigation practices can be carried in runoff. This runoff pollutes our rivers and streams.
UCCE personnel in the Landscape workgroup are in constant demand for advice on these issues, including improved landscape and irrigation planning and design and more appropriate species selection. OHRIC provides a venue for interaction among UC researchers and outreach of solutions to municipal groups and the general public.