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Posted on: August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017 -- One Family's LEAP to Save Water

The Watson-Kennelly family in front of their home.

Pricey water bills comes with the territory when you’ve got a houseful of four adults and three teens ranging from ages 14 to 19. But Cyndi Watson and her wife Jane Kennelly look forward to lower water bills, thanks to CBWCD’s Landscape Evaluation and Audit Program (LEAP).

The women share their east Chino home with Jane’s daughter Kate, son-in-law Sy and three grandchildren. The home has a small grass lawn in the front, a fruit tree orchard, basketball court and swimming pool in the back.

The family knew that they’d already done everything they could to lower their indoor water use. Now they wanted to reduce their outdoor water use too.

The problem? “We didn’t know where to start,” Jane said.

Then Cyndi heard about CBWCD’s program offering a free evaluation of outdoor water use. She called immediately.

Within days, Jane and Cyndi had scheduled an appointment with CBWCD's Conservation Technician, Brandon Burgess to come out to evaluate the property. The appointment included an inspection and measurement of how well the sprinklers worked together, as well as an examination of the soil and existing plants.

A few days later, Cyndi and Jane received an email with the report. “We were really surprised how in-depth the report was,” Cyndi said. Photos documented problem areas such as broken or buried sprinkler heads and their annual indoor and outdoor water use was calculated using historical data, weather factors, and onsite evaluations.

Even more surprising was the potential for water savings that Brandon had uncovered.

“CBWCD estimated that we could save some 105,000 gallons a year if we fixed the problems with our irrigation system and removed the turf in the front lawn,” Jane said. “That comes to about $366 a year.”

Cyndi and Jane plan on tearing out their turf and replacing their irrigation system this fall when the weather cools down.

Not only did the landscape audit shed light on their water use, the report and recommendations created a clear path to change. It also showed them how improvements could be paid for over time through savings on their water bill.

“It’s so important to contribute to the environment,” Jane said. “It was nice to see that some of our neighbors have changed out to drought-tolerant landscapes. Maybe we’ll inspire some others to do the same.”

Learn more about CBWCD's Landscape Evaluation Audit Program, available to residential and commercial customers within the Inland Empire Utilities Agency boundaries.

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