SMWD Honors Water Heroes

Santa Margarita Water District recognizes “Water Heroes” who live a SustainaBlue lifestyle that shows water efficiency inside and outside the home. The Water Heroes are honored by SMWD Board of Directors and receive a glass plate and yard sign proclaiming “A Water Hero Lives Here.”

Click here to nominate yourself or a neighbor to be a SustainaBlue Water Hero.


The first three Santa Margarita Water District SustainaBlue Water Heroes were honored by District leaders on June 3, each resident demonstrating that everyone from individual homeowners to large homeowners associations can play an important role in helping SMWD reduce its water use during the historic state drought.

Even with a comprehensive, $30 million plan to dramatically increase the use of recycled water and other initiatives, SMWD customers must reduce their water use to meet SMWD’s 24 percent reduction mandated by the state. The mandate took effect June 1.

SMWD knows that customers are responding to calls to use water more efficiently. Some, however, are leading by example, making them true SustainaBlue Water Heroes. SustainaBlue is SMWD’s initiative for outdoor water-use efficiency, including low water use plants, drip irrigation, keeping water on-site.

Directors honored:

Jerry Rose of Rancho Santa Margarita, who cut water use in his family’s home by 54 percent between January and May of this year compared to last year. He removed 1225 square feet of turf from his front yard, and replaced it with all drought tolerant plants, many of which are California natives. He also incorporated a bio swale in his design, which helps to capture runoff from the property before it reaches the gutter. Finally, he retrofitted his existing pop-up spray heads to more efficient drip irrigation.

Jan Johnson and her son Christopher of Coto de Caza, who reduced water use at her six-unit residential property in Coto by an amazing 71 percent. Her son designed an amazing landscape transformation, going from a turf dominated yard to a low water use landscape with drip irrigation.

SAMLARC, the non-profit Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corp., which manages parks, open space, trails and lake in Rancho Santa Margarita. Even without the benefit of recycled water, SAMLARC has dramatically decreased the amount of water it uses, peaking at a 25 percent reduction. SAMLARC Directors are also moving forward with a plan to reduce turf with a SustainaBlue plant palette.


New heroes will be honored monthly; customers can send nominations by filling out the following form.

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