Overview of San Diego’s Regional Sustainable Landscapes Program Highlighting Regional Partnerships and Program Tactics of Statewide Relevance

Date / Time:
Tuesday, Sep 13 4:55pm to 5:25pm
Bay View
Track / Session:
Stormwater and Sustainability / Regional and Community Based Projects Designed for Sustainability

Made possible by a Proposition 84 grant funded by the California Department of Water Resources through the San Diego Region’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program, the “Sustainable Landscapes Program” (SLP) is an innovative regional partnership among six entities, including:
- Association of Compost Producers
- California American Water
- City of San Diego
- County of San Diego
- San Diego County Water Authority
- Surfrider Foundation
Notably, the SLP partners include two municipalities that are subject to the San Diego Region’s Municipal Separate Sotrmwater Sewer System (MS4) permit. Consistent with the conference theme Stormwater Evolution: Source to Resource, this presentation will showcase the SLP as a collaborative regional program with multiple partners with the ultimate aim to use increase water use efficiency and to use stormwater as a resources while improving stormwater management.
The SLP promotes a watershed-based approach to achieving multiple environmental benefits through upgraded urban landscapes. Building on water conservation concepts like climate-appropriate plants and efficient irrigation systems, the SLP promotes a more holistic approach that includes using stormwater as a resource. The program’s co-equal goals of increasing water use efficiency and improving stormwater management is helping to usher in a higher standard for landscape sustainability. Among other metrics, the program aims to transform 6.25 acres of residential turf landscapes to SLP raingardens.
Following extensive applied research, the program’s guidelines have been carefully crafted to align with California’ Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s stormwater permit. The presentation will highlight “San Diego Sustainable Landscape Guidelines,” a FREE 71-page color publication (available online at www.watersmartsd.org) produced by the program partners. The guide’s landscaping best practices are relevant statewide to jurisdictions outside of San Diego County.
Our purpose for this presentation is to increase awareness of our new program resources while also sharing our collective experience forging regional partnerships. Core concepts to be presented include soil amendments for improved water retention, climate-appropriate plants, capturing the first flush, using stormwater as a resource, and efficient supplemental irrigation. The presentation will also highlight various program tactics that the audience may wish to apply in their regional and local programs. These include education, training, technical assistance, distribution of landscape materials, and incentives.
The proposed format for this 60-minute presentation will consist of oral presentations with visual aides by multiple presenters (SLP Partners); while audience participation will be encouraged, with time dedicated to audience questions and discussion.

Primary Speaker:
Carlos Michelon, San Diego County Water Authority
Since October 2007, Carlos Michelon has served as a Principal Water Resources Specialist, leading the Water Authority’s landscape-related water conservation initiatives. His work includes securing external grant funding and managing the implementation of innovative and effective outdoor water conservation programs, such as the “Sustainable Landscapes Program.” Carlos represents the Water Authority in the Irrigation Association’s Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) initiative and has also served as a past Co-Chair of the Landscape Committee of the California Urban Water Conservation Council.
Supporting Speaker 1:
Paul Herzog, Surfrider Foundation