OMWD Board Recognizes Winner of 2023 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

At its June 21 meeting, Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors honored Brad Lefkowits as winner of its annual contest designed to inspire attractive landscape transformations that reduce outdoor water use.

“Water is a precious, limited resource in California where the next dry period could be right around the corner,” said OMWD Board Treasurer Neal Meyers. “We encourage our customers to continue to increase outdoor water use efficiency, and replacing large turf areas with drought-tolerant plants could cut a home’s outdoor water use in half.”

The WaterSmart Landscape Contest is held annually by water agencies throughout San Diego County to highlight colorful and lush landscapes that use less water than turf-heavy landscapes and often require less maintenance. Winning entries exhibit an appealing design, climate-appropriate plant selection, and water-efficient irrigation.

Mr. Lefkowits’ water-efficient landscape displays a watershed approach to landscape design. His goal was to keep as much rainwater on the property as possible. He captures rainwater in a 530-gallon cistern and sends overflow into a series of connected swales that can hold over an inch of rain without a drop leaving the property. Minimizing water runoff into the streets reduces the number of pollutants that are carried down into storm drains and eventually into the ocean.

In addition to planting many native plant species, Mr. Lefkowits included attractive and hardy plants from other Mediterranean climates around the world in his landscape. He also installed a 300-square-foot lawn for his kids and dog, using a mix of California Buffalo Grass and native Carex praegracilis that only needs to be watered once a week. While he uses high-efficiency rotating sprinkler nozzles for the small lawn, all other areas are irrigated with an in-line drip system.

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