Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers = SMART & Water Wise Yard Maintenance

Do you know the difference between a traditional Irrigation Controller vs. a Weather-Based Irrigation Controller? There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE.  WATCH this “Sustainable Ventura News” segment to find out how you can conserve as much as 13,500 gallons of water per year per household!

Are you a City of Ventura resident interested in awesome rebates offered with the Water Wise 2.0 Incentive Program, visit: and

Watch Sustainable Ventura News at Ventura County Star online on the NEWS & LIFESTYLE pages (and also SEARCH “Sustainable Ventura” or “Maryann Ridini Spencer” at

Sustainable Ventura TV News is reported by Maryann Ridini Spencer and airs on Caps-TV VTV’s Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.


Water saving tools that REFRESH Drought Fatigue!


Find out about Ventura Water’s New Water-Saving Programs & Tools in this Sustainable Ventura News segment.


August 15, 2016

Water Saving Tools  To Help Reduce Drought Fatigue

Ventura Water Offers Three New Water Saving Programs

News of the California drought is everywhere. We’re in a water crisis and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. There’s no doubt about it, we have to start rethinking how we use water. It’s a fact that as much as 30% of the water we use goes to outdoor use, and changing out your lawn for an ocean friendly or native garden can help you save water and save money on your water bill. However, are you overwhelmed when you think about the idea of taking out your lawn for a native landscape? Do you like your greenscape and are perplexed how, if you remove your turf, you can keep the color and beauty in your yard? Are you daunted at the idea of planting native plants when you know absolutely nothing about them?

This summer into fall, Ventura Water launches three new water saving programs:

Residential Recycled Water Mobile Reuse Program – June 2016

Ventura Water announces the grand opening of the Residential Recycled Water Mobile Reuse Program. Residents interested in participating, are required to pay a fee and be trained in order to fill up their containers with high-quality recycled water to be used in landscapes vs. having to use their potable water. Training sessions will be held Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility (VWRF), 1400 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. Contact the VWRF to sign up at 805-677-4131.

Capture Conservation – July 2016

What inspires you to reduce your water footprint? Capture it with your camera! Whether it’s a fancy rainwater harvesting system, a simple reusable water bottle, or a beautiful beach scene that reminds you of why it’s important to preserve our natural environment.

In July 2016, Ventura Water launches Capture Conservation, a local photo contest that offers residents who have battled to conserve during the drought an opportunity to capture what they’ve done in a photo and be entered to win some really cool prizes! Be on the lookout in Ventura Water’s monthly newsletter, Pipeline for details. Sign up to receive Pipeline, here.

WaterWise 2.0 Turf Replacement Program – September 2016

Thinking of taking out your lawn to put in an Ocean Friendly or native garden? Planning to change out your irrigation system? Before you do, check out Ventura Water’s WaterWise 2.0 Turf Replacement Program. On the heels of last year’s WaterWise Turf Replacement Program, Ventura Water launches WaterWise 2.0 in July. This new program offers additional ways to save water, which includes everything from turf replacement to free sprinkler nozzles and smart irrigation timers. Interested parties must qualify for the program and more information will be forthcoming shortly. Stay tuned and find out more at

For more information on these water saving tools, visit:

Ventura Water: Teaching our Youth about the sustainability of our water sources

Research shows that when children are taught about sustainable practices from a young age, they become stewards of the environment. This segment of Sustainable Ventura News takes a trip with some young students to VenturaWaterPure’s Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility and some of community’s natural habitats.

The VenturaWaterPure’s Potable Reuse Demonstration Facility is open for FREE tours to the public on Saturdays, 9am to 11am, and will be limited to 20 people. Please sign up for public tours before noon the Friday before by BOOKING A tour and either calling (805) 677-4131 and/or visiting: (and navigate to the VenturaWaterPure icon).

Hey Ventura, What’s Your Shower Song? Campaign to Save Water

Shower Cling EditFinalSustainable Ventura News talks to Ventura Water GM Shana Epstein about the “Hey Ventura, What’s Your Shower Song?” Campaign.

From June 18 through August 31, 2015 Ventura Water partners with several local radio stations to inspire residents to keep the shower water flow to a minimum, or at least to the length of a favorite shower song with the “Hey Ventura, What’s Your Shower Song?” Campaign. The campaign for Ventura was born out of the State’s “Save Our Water” shower song promotional materials.

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Watch Sustainable Ventura News at Ventura County Star online (SEARCH “Sustainable Ventura News at also WATCH on the NEWS and LIFESTYLE pages and in the VC STYLE COLUMN at:

Sustainable Ventura TV News is reported by Maryann Ridini Spencer and airs on Caps-TV VTV’s Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.

RSVP TODAY, FREE Water Wise Gardens Class, Saturday, March 7


Reserve your seat today for the FREE Water Wise Gardens Class (“Water Wise Gardening and Lawn Alternatives with Lisa Burton), Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 10am to 11:30am at the City of Ventura Public Works Sanjon Maintenance Yard at 336 Sanjon Road, Ventura.waterwise-logo

Rethink the traditional American lawn when you learn about gorgeous turf alternatives and native, climate appropriate plants. In this class, you’ll also find out how to convert your spray irrigation to drip! RSVP:

The classes are presented by the City of Ventura, Ventura Water, Ewing and Green Thumb International/Ventura.  Check out the full schedule, click here.

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Listen to the PODCAST from the FREE Water Wise Class:  Ocean Friendly Gardens

Listen to the FREE PODCAST



2014 Watershed Hero Award Winner: Loma Vista Elementary School


In recognition and support of local environmental efforts, on Monday, December 15, 2014, Ventura Mayor Cheryl Hetimann, on behalf of the City of Ventura’s Environmental Sustainability Division, Ventura Water, E.J. Harrison & Sons, and Agromin Premium Soil Products (Agromin), presented the 2014 Green School Award to Lincoln Elementary School, and the 2014 Watershed Hero Award to Loma Vista Elementary School.

The Watershed Hero Award was presented to Loma Vista Elementary for converting their school front entryway into a water wise Ocean Friendly Garden complete with a rainwater capture system, bioswales and drought tolerant California native plants.

“We’re so grateful for our ‘Watershed Hero Award,” said Marlene McMullen, Principal, Loma Vista Elementary School.  “Changing out the front area of our school with an Ocean Friendly Garden was truly a community effort.  We would also not have this gorgeous garden if it wasn’t for all the help and support of the many sponsors and supporters.

In early 2014, Loma Vista Elementary School was chosen as the recipients of Midtown Ventura Community Council’s 2014 Adopt-A-School Project.  The Midtown Ventura Community Council, a non-profit organization formed by citizens of Midtown Ventura in 1997 to help improve our community.

“We had an iconic 90-foot high diseased Monterey pine tree in our front yard that was dying,” said McMullen. “We really needed to remove it, but because the tree was the focal point of the school, we knew if it was removed, the children would miss it.  At the same time, the Midtown Ventura Community Council told us that we were chosen as their ‘Adopt-A-School Project for 2014.’  Everything just grew from there. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  Working with the Council, it was decided that we’d do a comprehensive redesign and install a California Coastal Native and Ocean Friendly Garden that would be both water efficient in addition to being a special place that students and faculty could enjoy.”

Local landscape architect Brian Brodersen, designer of the OFG landscape for Will Rogers Elementary School, drew up plans for the Loma Vista redesign. Jesse Doty, Senior Project Manager for Clark Construction also volunteered his time, and contributed staff and equipment to help with the job.

Ojai Quarry’s Larry Mosler donated $2,000 worth of rock for the garden.  Surfrider Foundation and the City’s Ventura Water Department also donated staff and money for the purchase of native plants.  As part of the City’s Environmental Sustainability Division, every student has received a classroom presentation on waste reduction, water conservation and watershed pollution prevention.

Work on the garden began on May 17, 2014, and for seven full work days from May until September, students, parents, faculty, and community members removed turf, weeded, rototilled, graded the land, sheet mulched, placed rocks and boulders, hand-crafted benches, re-directed the rain downspout system into large bioswale gardens that slow the flow of water, allowing it to sink into the ground, and planted native plants.

“It really does take a village!” said McMullen.  “We had over 200 volunteers on the project,” said McMullen.  “In honor of everyone’s efforts and hard work, and to show our sincere appreciation for everything done on our school’s behalf, we plan to acknowledge all our donors and contributors with a special plaque that will be placed in the garden.”

Changing out their landscape for an Ocean Friendly Garden will allow for continued student education regarding sustainable gardens.  Additionally, the school anticipates a reduced water bill, as these gardens rely on rainwater, not potable drinking water.

“There’s a paradigm shift happening with how we need to think about our lawns and landscapes,” said City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Jill Santos. “The California drought has helped accelerate this shift, and for a sustainable future, we all need to do our part. Emphasis is being placed on thinking green with water wise gardens, capturing rain water from our roofs in rain barrels, and appropriately placing bioswales in our landscapes to capture rain water, allowing it to flow and sink in to our landscapes vs. running off into the street where it picks up a variety of pollutants which get carried into our oceans and rivers.

Kudos to the school district, Midtown Council and to Loma Vista Elementary School, for providing this amazing opportunity for Ventura students and their families to learn about the importance of implementing these sustainable, water-saving initiatives.”

Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV

Sustainable Ventura News From the “Water: Take 1” Leading By Example Reception


Watch the Sustainable Ventura News segment from the November 20, 2014 “Water: Take 1” Leading By Example Reception at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach.

Leading by example, the City of Ventura, as well as many local businesses, support and encourage our community’s sustainability through their environmental initiatives and sustainable practices. On November 20th, at a special cocktail reception at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Ventura Water is hosted a presentation highlighting local organizations and companies that have implemented sustainable water practices and policies, upgraded their private and public spaces with a focus on water conservation and otherwise demonstrated not only an acute awareness of the challenges facing our water supply but have taken bold steps toward finding a solution.

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Leading By Example: The Ventura City Fire Department

In this segment of Sustainable Ventura News, the Ventura City Fire Department talks about their sustainable operating practices.

Watch Sustainable Ventura News at Ventura County Star online (SEARCH “Sustainable Ventura News) also WATCH on the NEWS and LIFESTYLE pages and in the VC STYLE COLUMN.

Sustainable Ventura TV News is reported by Maryann Ridini Spencer and airs on Caps-TV VTV’s Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.

Visit:, and http://SustainableVentura.TV