WaterSmart gardener

Native garden

Welcome to our resource center for outdoor water conservation! 

Create a Water-Wise Garden

Water Conservation provides tools and resources to help you create a water-efficient landscape.

Apply for a Rebate 

Get up to $2,000 to replace your thirsty lawn, upgrade inefficient irrigation, and safely divert laundry water to your garden.

What to Plant

Invest in a healthy, resilient garden by selecting water-wise plants that use little or no water once established.

Lawn-to-Garden Design Center

Resources and how-to videos to transform your lawn to a snazzy water-wise garden.

Compost and Mulch

Save water and beautify your garden with compost and mulch, and save money with our mulch coupons.

Hiring a Landscape Professional

Qualified professionals create landscapes that conserve water and soil, reduce waste, and prevent pollution.

WaterSmart Garden Grants

Grants are available to community organizations create publicly acccessible garden projects that demonstrate water conservation principles.

Reimagine Your Landscape

Explore your options for creating beautiful, lush and water-efficient gardens with resources and local examples.

Before and After Photos: I ♥ My Garden

Take a look at dozens of landscape transformations submitted during our "before and after" lawn conversion photo challenge. 

Landscape Water Savings Calculator

Find out how many gallons of water you can save annually by converting your lawn to a low water use garden.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour

Tour beautiful, water-conserving native gardens throughout the East Bay every year on the first weekend of May.

Sustainable Landscape Map

Use this map to find beautiful, water wise and accessible community gardens throughout our region.

Videos/Recorded Webinars

Learn from experts on topics such as plant selection, garden maintenance, and rainwater harvesting.


Free Designs Resources

Native Planting Guide and Design

Starting a native plant garden doesn’t have to be complicated. This easy guide takes the guesswork out of which plants to use where. (Printer friendly version here).

Landscape Design Templates

Eight contemporary front yard plans are available for various styles, and can be scaled for landscapes up to 2,500 square feet.  Templates are courtesy of the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership. 

Calscape Bay Area Garden Planner

Find the perfect native plants for your garden and designs to fit your landscaping style. Want to attract butterflies or avoid deer? Need HOA friendly designs? Plants are customized based on your zip code.

Gardens for San Lorenzo

You don't need to live in San Lorenzo to use this book: it includes four garden design for various lot types, illustrations, plant lists, estimated costs, and how-to guidance.

Maintenance and Care

Lawn & Landscape Watering Schedule

Consult our suggested watering guide as a starting point for updating your irrigation schedule with the seasons (also available in Spanish).

Free Advice - Ask an Expert 

UC Master Gardeners offer tips, a plant helpline, and community events. Ask an expert in Contra Costa or Alameda.

Outdoor Irrigation Tips

Review tips to water your yard most effectively and suggestions for upgrades to make your irrigation system more efficient.

Tree Care Tips

Save water and our trees. Keep your trees healthy and happy with this tree watering advice and additional resources.

WaterSense Outdoors

WaterSense (EPA partnership) is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water.

Maintain Your Garden

Videos and seasonal tips and best practices to maintain a healthy, drought-tolerant and low-maintenance landscape.

California Friendly

A free eBook on maintenance for landscapers, gardeners, and land managers. 

Guide to Healthy Lawns

Make small adjustments to keep your lawn healthy using little or no pesticide.

For Professional Landscapers

Commercial Irrigation

Rebates, services and resources for commercial landscapes. Includes success stories, water budget program, and audit services.

Landscape Advisory Committee

Stay on top of sustainable landscaping with our newsletter, professional development resources, and Sustainable Landscape Speaker Series.