Drought Tolerant Landscaping

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Water supply is a chronic issue in Southern California.  With no large local water supply, a great deal of water is diverted from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Colorado River to Los Angeles to support the almost 10 million people who live in the basin.  The drought tolerant landscaping area provides a relaxing oasis on campus that minimizes irrigation costs and supply, as all plants in this area are drought tolerant plants, including California natives, which are adapted to little rain. 


The native plants in this area revitalize the natural environment around them.  Native plants attract local pollinators and promote native plant biodiversity, a difficult feat for native plants in competition with the abundance of invasive species in California. 


Facilities Management Services regulates the campus-wide water management system that limits the amount of water that can be used for irrigation.  The system monitors soil moisture levels and it limits watering to when the system indicates it is necessary.  The system automatically updates itself every night through weather reports and moisture sensors. 


The system waters sustainably as well; irrigation occurs before 7:00 am in order to minimize evaporation loss, and water flow sensors immediately notify USC when a leak occurs.  Drip irrigation systems greatly reduce water run-off and evaporation by applying water slowly and directly to the soil around each plant, and aeration of the soil minimizes the runoff of water from this soil.