Water Usage Geospatial Tool and Maintenance Plan for a Southern California Demonstration Garden

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Packer, Christopher


Hinton, David E.
Fay, John Patrick

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Southern California faces the potential of future water shortages due to increasing population and uncertain supplies of water. Over half of water consumption in the region is attributed to residential use with over half of this amount typically attributed to outdoor use. While new supply sources should be investigated, conservation efforts can drastically decrease water consumption. Numerous sources have pointed to water efficient landscaping practices as an effective means by which to accomplish this.

 As part of an internship, I helped Orange County Coastkeeper complete work on a 2-acre demonstration garden in Orange, CA. The garden will serve to promote efficient irrigation practices, drought tolerant plants, and other efficient landscaping practices. In order to help convey the message of water-efficient landscaping, I developed a geospatial tool that visitors to the garden can use to estimate water use when employing practices seen in the garden. The tool uses the Landscape Coefficient Method (LCM) and Water Use Classification of Landscape Species III (WUCOLS) which were developed by University of California Cooperative Extension and initiated by the California Department of Water Resources. Visitors of the garden will be able to access a webpage where they can select their yard or area to be landscaped on a Google map. After their selection regional and areal information will be sent to a tool hosted on an ArcGIS Server and the resulting water requirements returned to the user.

 In addition to helping Coastkeeper promote its message to visitors I have developed a maintenance plan for use by those working at the garden. The plan includes pruning, mulching, watering, and pest guides relevant to the region, as well as quick reference guides by season and a comprehensive species characteristics listing. The plan will help in the operation of the garden, and be used as a resource to educate visitors.





Packer, Christopher (2012). Water Usage Geospatial Tool and Maintenance Plan for a Southern California Demonstration Garden. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5207.

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.