Rinconada embraces drought- friendly landscape changes

The recent tree removal at Rinconada created space for temporary contractor offices, parking, staging, and 41 new trees that will provide screening of construction staging activities as well as some of the new buildings on the northern-most corner of the plant

But that’s just half of the story. Reliability Improvement Project’s landscape consultant, Siegfried Engineering, designed this first phase of landscape planting with not only the privacy of Rinconada’s neighbors in mind, but the impact of the California drought as well, which is now in its fourth year.

Our consultant chose only native and/or drought tolerant tree species for the job, including Canary Island Pines, Coast Live Oaks, Australian Willows, Arbutus Standards, Californica Peppers, Chinese Pistaches, Water Gums, Catalina Ironwoods and Pacific Wax Myrtles. These trees will reduce water usage since they require little care while providing a pleasant and attractive landscape.

107_Capistrano_5_Year
This is a 5-year rendering of the healthy, new landscape. Original photo was taken from 107 Capistrano Place.

These actions reflect our overall commitment to upholding stringent water restrictions. Since February 2014, our drought committee has taken numerous drought awareness actions such as distributing free “Brown is the new green” lawn signs, shower buckets and offering water conservation effort rebates.

In a continued effort to conserve water, the district will irrigate these new trees with only recycled water. The South Bay Water Recycling Program (SBWR) provides the largest non-potable water supply in the Santa Clara County. Since this project will use a 5,000 gallon, on-site storage tank to feed recycled water to these new trees over the next four years, the district used SBWR to certify eight district employees and two district trucks to deliver recycled water to the plant.

More changes are coming to the plant in the next two months. And the new trees will be installed just in time for the start of construction this summer!

-Tara Pozzi, SCVWD Intern

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