Low-Water-Use Gardening

Low-Water-Use Gardening / Xeriscaping
What is Xeriscaping? When broken down, the word itself is made up of the Greek word for "dry" (Xeros) and the word "landscaping." Xeriscaping refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.

Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off.

In some areas, terms such as water-conserving landscaping, drought-tolerant landscaping, zero-scaping and smart scaping are used instead.
Why use xeriscaping? Here are 6 reasons:
  1. Lowers consumption of imported or ground water.
  2. More water available for other domestic and community uses and the environment.
  3. Less time and work needed for maintenance effort, with gardening simpler and less stressful.
  4. Little or no lawn mowing
  5. Xeriscape plants in appropriate planting design, combined with soil grading and mulching, take full advantage of rainfall retention.
  6. When water restrictions are implemented, by municipalities or rising water costs, xeriscape plants will tend to survive and thrive, while more ornamental plants may be unable to adapt.
Water Management And Conservation Plan
In 2002, the city developed a Water Management and Conservation Plan. This plan was developed to identify water supply and demand issues facing the City of Grants Pass, and to develop reasonable strategies to resolving these issues. In addition, this plan serves as a guide for the city's water management policies.

As part of this plan, the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) required that the city institute a water conservation program along with providing public education to encourage and promote efficient water use including the use of low water-use landscaping. Part of this public education program was the construction of a public demonstration garden showcasing drought-tolerant plants as well as the creation and distribution of literature for educating citizens to the advantages of low-water-use gardening.
Water Filtration Plant Demonstration Garden
The city chose to incorporate this xeriscape demonstration garden at the Water Filtration Plant on M Street, where there was already construction going on requiring the restoration of large areas of landscaping in front of the treatment plant.

The project was completed in March 2010, and on May 3, 2010 a workshop of the City Council was held at the Water Filtration Plant as an open house to introduce the improvements to the Council and the public.

Below are photos of the information boards installed at the Water Filtration Plant:
Example of Xeriscaping at the Water Filtration Plant