WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Click on image to view PDF flyerProud of your water-efficient yard? Would you like to be recognized for your work in support of water conservation and neighborhood beautification? If so, enter this year’s WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

Known for many years as the California-Friendly Landscape Contest, the annual competition rewards drought-tolerant landscapes created or commissioned by customers of numerous San Diego County water agencies.

To enter, the water agency to which you pay your water bill must be a participating member. If your water agency is listed in the contact list below, you can send the required materials directly to the agency's identified representative. Please submit all required materials by April 30, 2018. Only residential entries will be accepted.

Click on image to view PDF flyer

For tips to improve your chances of winning, click here!


HOW TO ENTER

For hard copy submissions sent through the U.S. Postal Service:

  1. Print out the hard copy entry form and clearly write in the requested information.
  2. Gather photos of your landscape.
    • 10 photos maximum. Your water agency may visit your property to take additional photos. 
    • Include at least one overall "curb appeal" as viewed from the street.
    • Provide before and after shots, if possible.
    • Write your name and property address on the back of each photo (photos will not be returned).
  3. Include a list of the water-wise plants in your landscape.
  4. Provide a written explanation of why you elected to install a WaterSmart landscape, the design and installation process, and any unexpected benefits. We want to hear your story!
  5. Mail your completed entry package to the designated representative at your servicing water agency listed below.
  6. Call your agency representative asking for confirmation that your entry form and all photos were received.

For digital (email) submissions, the following specifications apply:

  1. Before preparing a digital submission, check the agency contact list to verify that your agency accepts entries via email. If there is no email address listed, your agency does not accept digital submissions and you must mail printed copies of your entry form and photos.
  2. Fill in the online entry form and save it on your computer with a file name titled "landscape-contest-2018."
    • Note: To fill out the online entry form electronically, you must download the PDF file to your computer first. You can do this by hovering over the link, right clicking on your mouse and selecting "save as" or "save link as."
    • Tip: Save the file to your desktop with a title "landscape-contest-2018" so you can easily find it. Then, open the file from your desktop or wherever you saved it on your computer, fill out the form, and save the file once more. You can then email the file to your water agency. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill out the PDF form. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it here for free: Adobe Acrobat Reader
  3. Scan photos of your landscape and convert them into JPEG format.
    • 10 photos maximum. Your water agency many visit your property to take additional photos. 
    • Include at least one overall "curb appeal" as viewed from the street. 
    • Provide before and after shots, if possible.
    • Maximum size of all photos combined attached to your submitted email should be 8 MB (NO LARGER). Please reduce the size of each of your photos if they are larger than 1 MB each.
  4. Include a list of the water-wise plants in your landscape.
  5. Provide a written explanation of why you elected to install a WaterSmart landscape, the design and installation process and any unexpected benefits. We want to hear your story!
  6. Send your entry form and photos as attachments to the email address provided by your agency’s designated representative listed below. 
  7. Send a separate email with no attachments or call your agency representative asking for confirmation that your entry form and all photos were received.

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WATER AGENCY CONTACT LIST

Agencies listed below that have included an email address also accept digital submissions to the contest. All others require forms and photos to be printed and mailed through the postal service by April 30, 2018.
 
1025 Palm Ave.
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
Cristina Saldaña (619) 446-5706
201 North Broadway
Escondido, CA 92025
Water Conservation Division
water@escondido.org
Kim Silva (760) 839-4076
300 North Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
valueeverydrop@ci.oceanside.ca.us
Teresa Gomez (760) 435-5800
525 B Street, Suite 300, MS 906
San Diego, CA 92101
Anthony Moore (619) 533-5312
7811 University Ave.
La Mesa, CA 91942
Vince Dambrose (619) 667-6226
1966 Olivenhain Road
Encinitas, CA 92024
jcleaver@olivenhain.com
Jesica Cleaver (760) 632-4641
2554 Sweetwater Springs Blvd.
Spring Valley, CA 91978
esalmeron@otaywater.gov 
Eileen Salmeron (619) 670-2255
P.O. Box 719003
Santee, CA 92072
eshea@padre.org
Emma Shea (619) 258-4613
160 Calle Magdalena
Encinitas, CA 92024-3721
conserve@sdwd.org
Kristy Bequette (760) 633-2676
P.O. Box 2328
Chula Vista, CA 91912
waterefficiency@sweetwater.org
Clay Clifton (619) 409-6779
201 Vallecitos De Oro
San Marcos, CA 92069
Alicia Yerman (760) 744-0460 ext.223
1391 Engineer St.
Vista, CA 92081
breyes@vidwater.org
Brent Reyes (760) 597-3107
 

JUDGING CRITERIA

The competition committee reserves the right to issue no award if the entries are deemed undeserving. Judges’ decisions are final.
 
Judges will consider the following when selecting a winning yard:
 
Overall Attractiveness: 
  • Curb appeal
  • Pleasing color, form, texture and contour
  • Plants are well maintained
  • Weeds kept to a minimum
Appropriate Plant Selection: 
  • Climate-appropriate plant palette
  • Minimal or functional turf 
  • Functional landscape
  • Plants meet needs of owners
Design: 
  • Landscape is able to thrive with less water
  • Adequate plant coverage and permeable soils
  • Takes advantage of site features like shade, micro-climates, or low-lying flood areas
  • Landscape also meets needs of owners
Appropriate Maintenance: 
  • Mulch
  • Weeds kept to a minimum
  • Plants are neat, tidy and attractive
Efficient Methods of Irrigation: 
  • Uses appropriate irrigation equipment for plant material such as drip irrigation or efficient rotating spray nozzles
  • Water consumption is appropriate to area
  • Uses smart controllers or irrigation sensors
  • Irrigation is supplemented with rainwater capture or other water

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PRIZES

Each winner will receive a $250 gift certificate and recognition in the appropriate agency’s newsletter, on their website, and other promotional materials. The intent is to have one winner from each participating agency.
 

TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING

Of course, it takes a great-looking landscape, but your entry package needs to reveal its great features. The photos that you submit are the most important part of your application. It is the primary way your application will be judged. Here are some tips to consider when photographing your landscape:
  • Please keep in mind the contest judging criteria when taking photos. Photos that highlight the judging criteria elements will make your application a stronger entry.
  • Take a mixture of photos from different sections and distances. Take full shots as well as close-ups that highlight blooming plants or interesting features. 
  • Please provide a before and after photo(s) of your landscape renovation (if applicable) from the same vantage point(s).
  • Try taking pictures at different times of the day, taking advantage of the different positions of the sun.
  • Take more pictures than you need and only submit the best. Try taking pictures of the same area of your landscape from different vantage points.
  • Keep in mind what’s in the frame of the picture. For example, trash cans in the background of your picture can detract from the beauty of your landscape.

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2017 CONTEST WINNERS

California American Water

City of Escondido

City of Oceanside

City of San Diego

Helix Water District

 

 

Otay Water District

Padre Dam MWD

San Dieguito Water District

Sweetwater Authority

Vallecitos Water District

Vista Irrigation District

 

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