Water Wise Demonstration Garden


EMWD has saved water and reduced landscaping maintenance costs by retrofitting its landscaping, including the creation of a demonstration garden.

retrofit_entranceAs part of EMWD’s efforts to maximize water supplies – including recycled water supplies – EMWD completed the third and final phase of its Landscaping Retrofit Project with the completion of a demonstration garden in 2009.

Learn more:

About the Garden

The demonstration garden is located at EMWD headquarters (2270 Trumble Road in Perris) and was designed to be an educational tool and role model for the community. The garden showcases water-efficient landscaping and irrigation, and is part of EMWD's Landscape Retrofit project which replaced 57 acres of traditional landscaping, including 8.75 acres of turf grass.

Retrofitting the existing landscaping reduces maintenance costs and significantly lowers water use.

Demonstration garden area
after 5 months without water


Demonstration garden area
being retrofitted

The garden features different grades of synthetic turf, California Friendly plants, and water-efficient irrigation systems such as drip lines and smart controllers. All trees, plants, and other materials were selected to provide year-round color and be compatible with the existing soil type.

EMWD’s demonstration garden was partially funded with donations from Synthetic Landscape America, Toro, Rainbird, and Irrometer.

The garden will be open to the public during normal working hours with self-guided tour materials available. In addition, guided tours may be scheduled.

Retrofitted_7_streetscapeTrees, Plants & Other Materials

The following landscape elements are featured in the garden:

  • Trees – Red River Gum, Australian Tea Tree, Shoestring Acacia, Arizona Ash, Strawberry Tree, and Lemon Scented Gum. Existing trees will remain in place.
  • Shrubs – Texas Ranger, Wax Leaf Privet, Acacia Redolens, Society Garlic, Yucca Pendula, Agave, Pfitzer Juniper, Firethorn, and India Hawthorne.
  • Groundcover – Bush Lantana, Star Jasmine, Bark Mulch, and Artificial Turf.
  • Hardscape – Cobble, Crushed Rock, Decomposed Granite, Boulders, and Concrete. Existing concrete and cobble will remain in place.

Landscaping Retrofit Project Background

The Landscaping Retrofit Project began in 2005 with a goal to reduce water consumption by 75%. That goal was achieved after the first two phases were completed.

In the first two phases, EMWD parking lots, materials yard, and streetscapes were retrofitted to reduce turf grass, increase water-efficient ground cover, increase hardscape, and implement water-efficient irrigation systems.

Demonstration garden "before" the retrofit.

Removing turf grass.

A blank canvas.

Placing trees and shrubs.

Adding boulders, rocks and plants.

Nearing completion.


Streetscape before the retrofit


Streetscape after the retrofit