Landscape Irrigation Challenges and Innovations

Contributed by Jason Espinoza, Verano Place Associate Director of Operations

The State of California is currently experiencing an unprecedented drought, in fact, 60% of the state is experiencing a severe drought. In light of this ecological challenge, Verano Place Housing is committed to taking the necessary measures to protect our State most valuable resource, this commitment also extends to you the resident.

The Verano Place community represents 66-acres of land, of that, over 55% is landscape area that is watered with potable drinking water, as a community we must combat water waste at all levels.

As a resident of Verano Place, what can I do to assist? You play a large role in successfully minimizing water loss through irrigation, timely reporting of broken sprinkler heads, floods of water running away from landscaped areas or other unusual instances requiring immediate attention. It is important that you try to get a precise location of the reporting issue, this will assist VP staff in completing a timely repair.

Who do I call to report irrigation issues? Please report irrigation issues to the housing office at 949-824-5964 between the hours of 8am to 5pm or after-hours by contacting the VP housing assistant at 949-294-1812 between the hours of 5pm to 11pm, leave a message if you receive the answering machine, with your name, address and the location of the irrigation issue.

You may be asking yourself, what are the next steps? Is Verano Place doing anything to make the system more efficient? I am glad you asked, in the interim, Verano Place has reduced site-wide irrigation times, in particular to turf areas, we have also renovated or removed turf areas or plant materials that require excessive amounts of water. Landscape enhancements will continue to focus on the planting of native and drought tolerate plant species, recently members of the VRC and I visited a local water district in search of those plants materials best served by the planned changes to the watering patterns. As a group, we are committed ensuring Verano Place is a good steward of the state’s water resources, the VP Housing operations team has also prepared a phased approach to improving the irrigation systems through a series of grants available from local agencies.

Verano Place irrigation system improvement action plan:

Phase 1 recently received a grant in excess of $21,000 from the Metropolitan Water District, this agency grants funds to agencies seeking to improve irrigation delivery systems, this includes everything from controllers, central computer software/programs, flow sensors and so much more. We have recently acquired new smart irrigation controllers, that are adaptable to an ever-changing environment, furthering our ability to control the flow of water and to understand our use of potable water in greater detail.

Phase 2 of this project includes submission of a grant to replace ALL existing irrigation delivery devices, with more efficient MP rotator pop-up or turf irrigation nozzles. The types of devices will enhance the current system through multi-trajectory rotating streams providing unmatched uniformity, low application rate reduces runoff on slopes & tight soils and arc adjustments further reducing overspray and evaporative loss. We are seeking a grant to replace over 6500 sprinklers site-wide, this large scale project will require time to complete and requires revisions to the existing irrigation schedule.

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VERANO PLACE BICYCLE SWEEP/REMOVAL ANNOUNCEMENT 2014:

It has come to our attention that many bicycles within the Verano community have been left behind by our former residents. As a result of resident complaints & over-crowding at the bicycle racks, including unauthorized use of handrails, we have requested Parking and Transportation Services assistance in the removal of abandoned bicycles.

Impounded bicycles are placed in storage for a minimum 30 days before they are donated to charitable organizations or sold to the UCI community. Bicycles will be tagged for removal for a period of 10 days. At the end of this period, Parking Services will go through and impound those bicycles that still have tags. Those that do not have tags will not be impounded. Bicycles are considered abandoned if they are inoperable, rusted or have missing parts. If this represents your bicycle please remove it from the bike racks before the sweep occurs or it will be subjected to immediate impound.

Schedule:

August 25th thru 28th, 2014: Parking Services to place tags at all bike rack locations.

September 8th thru 11th, 2014: Parking service to begin removals of abandoned bicycles.