Water Conservation Resources

Retire Your Turf

If you’re tired of paying high water bills or struggling to maintain the “perfect” lawn, it just may be time to "Retire Your Turf." For an overview of the program, download or view the brochure (PDF).

Rainwater Catchment

Rainwater catchment is the collection and storage of rainwater for purposes such as landscape irrigation, non-potable household uses, and storm water abatement. Most often rainwater is diverted off of rooftops and diverted to storage tanks. Catchment water is not considered drinkable.

Rainwater is a valuable, free source of water that we can collect and use for much of our everyday needs, like landscape watering.  By collecting rainwater, we reduce our utility bills while reducing the harmful water runoff that can carry toxic chemicals into our streams, rivers, and the ocean. Rainwater catchment is valued as a water conservation tool to reduce demands on more traditional water supply sources.

Learn more.

Lawn Watering Guidelines and Resources

WAC Lawn Watering Guide (PDF)

P. Allen Smith's Summer Lawn Watering Guide

University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources ANR Catalog. Advice on crop production, pest management, study materials for DPR exams, nutrition, or gardening. Free Lawn Watering Guide (PDF).

Helpful Guidelines

Irrigation Design Calculator (Microsoft Excel, 40 KB)

Lawn Watering Guide (WAC; HTML)

Lawn Watering Guide for California (UC Agriculture & Natural Resources; PDF, 141 KB)

Soil Texture Chart (PDF, 33 KB)

Water Efficient Landscaping: Preventing Pollution & Using Resources Wisely Brochure (US EPA; PDF, 1.63 MB)

Water Scheduling Chart (PDF, 33 KB)

WaterShare Program



WaterShare is the Mid-Pacific Region's virtual water conservation center. At this site you'll find technical advice for professional water managers; water wise gardens of California; and activities for students K-12 to learn about water conservation.

Learn about Water Management Programs


Discover the many assistance programs that the Mid-Pacific Region offers for water management professionals.

Water Conservation Educational Resources


Visit California's water-efficient demonstration gardens. Take an interactive water conservation tour.



Obtain documentation in various formats for viewing and printing.

Teacher Lesson Plans


Check out these custom-created plans for elementary, junior and senior high school students.

Water Management Planner


The Mid-Pacific Region developed this Water Management Planner to assist water contractors in the preparation and implementation of Water Management Plans as required by the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992. The Water Management Planner is designed to be used by both agricultural and urban water contractors of all sizes and complexities.

Landscaping With Native Plants

CalFlora provides information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation.

Establishing a wildflower meadow.

Native plant glossary with photos prepared by the Theodore Payne Foundation.

California Academy of Science glossary of California wildflowers with maps, photos and color index.

California Native Plant Society "Growing Natives" program.

WaterWise Gardening and Turf Maintenance

Be Water Wise landscape watering tips, garden guide, garden profiles, and video.

L.A. County Department of Public Works smart gardening tips.

Managing an waste-efficient landscape. Includes a watering table for various types of turf grasses.

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns.

Take care of your lawn in an environmentally friendly way. Download the EPA booklet Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment (large PDF file).

For waterwise gardens in Central California.

For photos of eco-effective landscapes and gardens.


Xeriscaping overview by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Xeriscaping design, plant selection, maintenance and more from the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and Planttalk Colorado. En Español.

Landscape water conservation with xeriscape.

Pest Control

Order booklets online to help you take care of your garden and lawn the environmentally-friendly way. Many can be downloaded free.

Use care in controlling pests around your home and in the garden. Check out the UCDC site for information about pest management and identification. Or download a copy of the EPA's Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety (large PDF file).

Local Native and Drought-resistant Plant Nurseries

Central Coast Wilds
336 Golf Club Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Office: (831) 459-0656
Nusery: (831) 459-0655
Fax: (831) 457-1606

Drought Resistant Nursery
850 Park Avenue
Monterey, CA 93940  
(831) 375-2120
Brokerage Office: (831) 333-1344

Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery
1957B Highway 1
Moss Landing, CA 95039
(831) 763-1207
Fax: (831) 763-1659

McShane's Nursery and Landscape Supply
115 Monterey-Salinas Highway
Salinas, CA 93908
Nursery: (831) 455-1876
Fax: (831) 455-2753
Landscape: (831) 455-1369
Fax: (831) 455-2584
Steve McShane: steve@mcshanesnursery.com

Native Revival Nursery
2600 Mar Vista Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 684-1811

Northwest Native Seed
Ron Ratko
17595 Vierra Canyon Road #172
Prunedale, CA 93907

Rana Creek Wholesale Nursery
7480 Williams Ranch Road
Carmel, CA 93923
(831) 659-2830
Fax: (831) 646-2106

Redwood Nursery
2800 El Rancho Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 438-2844

Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens
2660 East Lake Avenue (Highway 152)
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 728-2532
Fax: (831) 728-2537

Succulent Gardens, The Growing Grounds
2133 Elkhorn Road
Castroville, CA 95012
(831) 632-0482
Fax: (831) 633-5280

Suncrest Nurseries, Inc.
400 Casserly Road
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 728-2595

Landscaping Organizations and Resource Lists

Monterey Bay Chapter of the Native Plant Society.

Monterey Bay Master Gardeners for classes, garden tours and a free
California Master Gardener Handbook.

Sustainable landscaping resources list.

Gardening for Kids

Below are a number of web sites for information about gardening for and with kid's.

Kids gardening sponsored by National Gardening Association with a search program and good site for teachers and loaded with projects.

Play a worm bin composting game with Vermi.

The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Dept of Agriculture sponsor the Seeds of Change Garden. It offers great gardening projects, especially during the off season.

Project ideas, a listing of gardening books and ideas for starting a school gardening program.

The Bug Club is for those young entomologists.

My first garden is sponsored by the University of Illinois.

Very Best Kids is managed by the Nestle Corp. Click on Crafts and Activities to find easy to follow directions for using recycled products to make a flower vase, bird feeder and more.