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Where Did the Water Go?

Articles: Where Did the Water Go?

This is the first in our 4-part series entitled Water-Sensitive Landscape Design (WSLD). Throughout the year we’ll explore what a water-sensitive garden is and where gardeners can go for professional guidance. We’ll focus on the basics: soil, carbon, water, and plants, as well as cover alternative technologies and resource consumption. And always, our focus is on design: how is it changing and what is the new “beautiful”?


Lake Oxnard. Illustration: Alex Stevens

A shifting paradigm is creeping across California and, not surprisingly, the focus is on water. Undeniably, we cannot continue being insensitive to the water needs of our gardens, no matter what climate change has up its sleeve. Approaching the issue from a watershed perspective means stepping back and focusing on a region’s geography and hydrology with the involvement of all stakeholders, and making decisions based on the health of the whole system.

According to the California Department of Conservation, “watershed management is the process of creating and implementing plans, programs, and projects to sustain and enhance water...


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