Water Water Nowhere: California’s Drought Crisis of 2014

California’s water situation has officially become a CRISIS. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency for California and we are scheduled to have the driest year (2014) on record. Reservoirs are at very low levels and the snowpack is 20 percent of the normal average for January.

That’s the bad news. And there isn’t much good news.

For Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings, increasing water costs and less rainfall means a quantum shift in our thinking. Gone are the days of the lush green lawn. We are designing, installing and maintaining drought-tolerant plantscapes that rely on minimal irrigation.

We hope no one in San Diego County or Southern California is letting THIS situation happen.

We hope no one reading this blog post is letting THIS kind of water waste happen.

We are also seeing an increase in interest for our gray water and rainwater  harvesting equipment to help capture every drop that we do get. If only it would rain so people can fill them!

Our green roof and living wall plants are hearty and drought-tolerant. These low-profile plants come in many varieties, including succulents, and are made to withstand heat and limited water. They are a perfect fit for San Diego, both now and in the foreseeable future.

Our drought has also brought back a formerly popular, much maligned product with a brand new look: artificial silk flowers and plants or “replicas.” These products aren’t the dust gathering fakes you remember. They are being manufactured in China with an entirely new look and special features.  Some even include UV protection to prevent fading and turning that ugly blue color when exposed to sunlight for long periods.

I have had to actually reach out to touch these new faux plants to see if they are real, and I am pretty good at spotting them! These next-generation replicas are perfect for low-light areas or bright, sunny settings that are too harsh for the real thing.  These realistic arrangements can be installed anywhere. From colorful geraniums, lush ferns and topiaries to Juniper shrubs and even Japanese Maple trees, faux can be the new way to go for areas that don’t provide enough (or too much) light.

Let’s hope it rains soon. Until then, we can all conserve and plant thoughtfully. Try a replica in an otherwise dark corner to add some color. Be ready to capture rainfall runoff to water your garden and whatever lawn you might have left. Support CalFire and other firefighting professionals by being smart about fire safety and open flame restrictions. They are eager to help you with information and advice on being fire safe.

And please remember to turn off the bathroom faucet when you are brushing your teeth.

Read Governor Jerry Brown’s Proclamation of a State of Emergency at the California Department of Water Resources website at  www.water.ca.gov

**Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings are hiring! Please visit our website for more information and to apply**