SANTA BARBARA - Next week is World Water Week, and California is on the heels of a three-year drought.
The State's snowpack is finally above-average in the Sierra Nevada, but water resource experts say residents still need to be cautious about water conservation.
There is a new tool for people on the Central Coast to do just that. It's called the "Water Wise Gardening in Santa Barbara County" CD and Website.
Alison Jordan, Santa Barbara City Water Conservation Coordinator, says, "We're really excited about it; it's an amazing resource."
Within the interactive photo tour of public and private gardens in Santa Barbara County, you're able to click on a plant you like, and immediately pops up its needs for growth in terms of sunlight, shade, and water.
Len Fleckenstein, Santa Barbara County Water Conservation Coordinator, explains, "You can access the database on over 800 plants, and you can access it by using the common name for the plant, or its botanical name. And there's a photograph of the plant, there's information on how to raise, grow the plant, information on its watering needs and so-on."
By providing information on flowers that use minimal water and thrive in the natural environment of the Central Coast, the creators of the project hope to show locals that beautiful, luscious green gardens can exist all while keeping conservation in mind.
Fleckenstein elaborates that it's not too difficult a task to find plants that are meant to be on the Central Coast: "We're really talking about people focusing on using plants that fit this climate, and what that means is a Mediterranean climate. It doesn't have to be native California plants, although it can be."
Jordan stresses the point that conservation is key, especially in our local communities: "Using water wisely is really important, and we have a limited water supply, and so if we can have beautiful gardens and save water-- that's just the best."
By following water conservation tips like those you'll find on the "Water Wise Gardening in Santa Barbara County" Website and CD, you're not only cutting down on your own water usage and bills, but you're helping to conserve for the State and your neighbors on the Central Coast.
The creators of the water wise project also stress that all the tips for Santa Barbara County residents work just as well for people in San Luis Obispo County, too.