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Nevada City kicks off workshops to help residents become ‘water-wise’

Teresa Yinmeng Liu
Staff Writer

Nevada City will be launching a series of workshops starting this weekend to teach residents the effective ways of managing their gardens when water resources are scarce.

“The focus right now is still on the outdoors; we really want to help people adopt these temporary behaviors during the emergency mandate to cut back on water, and evolve them into permanent behaviors, so water use and the demand for water goes down,” said Sara Johnson, a water conservation consultant hired by the city,

The first class, titled “Water-Wise Gardening: Rethinking the Californian Landscape,” will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. It includes a garden tour and presentations by experts of the University of California Master Gardeners of Nevada County, said Johnson.

Experts will field questions such as: how to care for your plants during drought, what are hydro-zones and how to use them, and which plants thrive in the foothills.

Johnson said the city developed the workshops to encourage residents to retain the behavior they have exhibited during the drought to achieve efficient use of water for a longer time period.

“Even (when the) drought is over, it will take several years of heavy rain to return to a normal state,” said Johnson.

Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board have mandated California residents to cut their water usage by 25 percent.

The mandate remains effective through Feb. 28, 2016. But according to Nevada City officials, voluntary cutbacks in the summer has resulted in a 41 percent reduction.

“The city wants to help customers to take some of the advantage of the changes, so they could make them permanent,” said Johnson.

The city is also planning two other workshops, titled “Saving Our Trees” and “Residential Irrigation Systems 101.” But a date has yet to be announced.

Space for the workshops is limited, so those interested are encouraged to register in advance. Since the workshops are designed for Nevada City, water customers of the city have priority if space is tight.

The location for the workshop will be provided after registration. Those who would like to attend should email NCdrought@NevadaCityCA.gov or call 530-492-4747.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, call 530-477-5236 or email tliu@theunion.com.

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