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Flex Your Power!
 The Division of the State Architect's Sustainable Schools Resource
Photo of a walkway nearby a mulched garden of native plants in Davis, California;  photo's caption, 'Mulch areas protect and replenish soil, and prevent weed growth and irrigation water loss due to evaporation.  It can also be used to walk on, especially in high food-traffic areas. Water Resources » Outdoor Water Design

Water Resources

Outdoor Water Design

Outdoor water consumption for field and landscaping irrigation makes up a high percentage of a school's water use. Choosing specific plant types that require little to no irrigation decreases outdoor water demand and consumption. Additionally, by improving the efficacy of the irrigation system, the amount of water required to meet that demand will be reduced.

Further Subtopics

Xeriscaping & Native Plant Use
Landscaping Techniques
Efficient Irrigation Scheduling

Featured Resources

Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
(Best Practices Manual Volume 2: Site Planning Section, Guideline SP9: Landscaping Soil, Ammendments and Mulch & SP10: Water-Efficient Irrigation Systems) CHPS aims to facilitate the design of high performance schools in California - environments that are not only resource efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit and contain the amenities needed for a quality education. CHPS has developed a set of Best Practices Manuals (available at to create a new generation of high performance school facilities in California.

California Department of Water Resources-A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings in California
This publication includes two important tools for estimation irrigation water needs. The first section of this guide details the Landscape Coefficient Method, a method of estimating irrigation needs of landscape plantings in California. Part two presents WUCOLS III (Water Use Classification of Landscape Species), a list intended to help landscape professionals identify irrigation water needs of landscape species and create compatible hydrozones during the design phase.

California Urban Water Conservation Council - Handbook of Water Use and Conservation

This handbook is a comprehensive, authoritative, and state-of-the-art reference for water use, conservation, and the growing array of efficiency measures to help meet future water needs.

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