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Residential Irrigation Evaluations

On average, the San Diego County region uses 144 gallons of water per person, per day. Outdoor irrigation accounts for roughly 53% of all residential water use!

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Photo by San Diego County Water Authority
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Photo by San Diego County Water Authority

The combination of San Diego’s Mediterranean climate, which consists of hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters, and the water requirements of San Diego County land uses (including residential properties) dictate that most of the potable water supply in San Diego County is imported. Many residents in San Diego County are realizing that irrigating lawns and unused landscape areas may not be the most efficient use of the limited water supply, especially as the current drought conditions persist. Fine tuning the landscaping and irrigation systems at residences can help save thousands of gallons of water per year, and save the property owner money!


In response to the Governor’s drought declaration, water use restrictions have been put in place by local water agencies. To learn more about the water use restrictions that apply to residential properties, visit the San Diego County Water Authority’s website (

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Photo by San Diego County Water Authority

If you are unsure where to begin when it comes to managing the irrigation system, or you just want to learn where improvements can be made, sign up for a free residential home water use evaluation! During the WaterSmart Checkup, the property owner or resident will receive site-specific water-saving recommendations. The property owner or resident decides if and when to implement the suggestions made by the District’s certified irrigation professionals. There is no obligation.

Residential WaterSmart Checkup

The District offers several different Checkup services and will match your property to the best available option. Participation is limited, so don’t miss out.

To apply:

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  1. Complete an easy application at
  2. The District will schedule a site walk-through for approved applications,
  3. The District’s certified irrigation professionals provide written observations, recommendations, and if applicable, test results.
  4. The property owner or resident chooses what will implemented and when. There is no obligation.
  5. Start saving! Although water savings vary by property, you may save up to 20% or more.

Photo by San Diego County Water Authority

Single-family home checkups also include recommendations to increase indoor water-use efficiency.

This program is made possible by San Diego County Water Authority and its participating member agencies.

Irrigation Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods or techniques that have been found to be the most effective and practical means in achieving an objective (such as preventing or minimizing pollution) while making the optimum use of a property’s resources. Irrigation BMPs include:

  • Designing the system for maximum water use efficiency.
  • Regularly maintaining the irrigation system to ensure optimal performance.
  • Using appropriate irrigation rates and scheduling based on weather patterns and plant types.
  • Grouping plants based on water needs.

Soils Types and Identification

The amount of water available to plants is dependent on the soil’s available water holding capacity. Determining what soil types are on the property can help managers set appropriate irrigation schedules.

Residential Irrigation Resources