On the heels of Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order announcing statewide mandatory water restrictions, students at Culver City High School demonstrated that they are doing their part to conserve water during one of California’s most historic droughts to date. Students joined West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) Director Scott A. Houston, Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City Unified School District Board Member Laura Chardiet and community partners to unveil a new Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) on campus during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, April 20.
Located at the Robert Frost Auditorium, this 2,332-square-foot sustainable garden features several swales that capture large volumes of rainwater from the roof, reducing runoff to the ocean and conserving up to 80% of the water that would have been used to water the old landscape. Drought-tolerant plants were installed by students themselves during a hands-on workshop held in December 2014.
“As we are experiencing our fourth straight year of drought, it is important now more than ever that we all take the necessary steps to conserve our precious water,” said Scott A. Houston, West Basin director, who represents the city of Culver City. “These gardens provide great examples on how to eliminate all or part of your lawns and save up to 80% of our drinking water used in and around our home.”
The OFG program is part of West Basin’s Water Reliability 2020 program, which aims to reduce dependence on imported water to only 33% by 2020 through doubling water recycling, doubling conservation efforts and adding ocean-water desalination to a local, diverse water supply. Programs such as the OFG allow West Basin to work toward its water efficiency goals by reducing the amount of water used outdoors, which is the leading waste of drinking water in residential communities.
“This garden teaches us that we all need to change the way we think about water use,” said Meghan Sahli-Wells, mayor of Culver City. “We are grateful for our program partners who helped build such a beautiful, water-saving demonstration garden in our city.”
To date, West Basin has completed 11 of its 16 Ocean Friendly Demonstration Gardens throughout its 185-square mile service area. Program partners joining West Basin for this Ocean Friendly Garden include Golden State Water Company, Department of Water Resources, Culver City High School, Culver City Unified School District, City of Culver City, Surfrider Foundation, Green Gardens Group and Stout Design Build.
For more information about West Basin’s Ocean Friendly Garden and other water conservation programs, visit www.westbasin.org.