Update on water conservation, rebates, workshops
Water use in Napa is down about 27 percent this summer compared to two years ago. That means about 450 million gallons less water used than in the summer of 2013. The city is well-positioned to meet the state-mandated 20 percent savings target for June through February.
Although mandatory water waste prohibitions are in effect, these savings have come largely from voluntary efforts of residents and businesses, letting green lawns show patches of gold this year. Water needs of plants drop off sharply in the fall due to shorter days — even on a very hot day in mid-September lawns only need about half as much water as they would in early July. The top watering priorities in the landscape should continue to be newly established water-wise plants, and the trees that have suffered so greatly in the drought. A layer of mulch around trees and plants is crucial to reduce evaporation and help keep the soil cool and moist.
Tons of mulch have been spread around Napa to support new water-wise plants, as the “Cash for Grass” Rebate Program continues to boom. Hundreds of water customers are permanently replacing unneeded lawns with beautiful low-water landscapes. Of the 750,000 square feet converted since the program began in 2010, more than half of that has occurred just since the Governor’s 2014 Drought Declaration. For single-family residential properties, the state has even stepped up with its own Turf Replacement Rebate to supplement the local one. Details are found at SaveOurWaterRebates.com.
There is no shortage of educational opportunities this fall for Napa Valley residents looking to save water outdoors. The Fall 2015 Water-Wise Landscaping Workshop Series runs three consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning Sept. 16. Held at the Pelusi Building in Kennedy Park, the sessions will cover sprinkler scheduling, drip irrigation, soils and amendments, sheet mulching, landscape design, and plant selection.
A special workshop on Sunday, Sept. 20, will demonstrate installation of a laundry-to landscape greywater system. (Location provided at time of registration.) The Bay-Friendly Garden Open House on Sunday, Oct. 4, affords another opportunity to see local water-wise landscapes and rain gardens and learn tips from landscape professionals. Details for these fall events are included on this month’s Napa recycling bill insert and at www.cityofnapa.org/water and naparcd.org.
Third Citizens Academy kicks off Sept. 30
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On Sept. 30, the city of Napa will kick off its third Citizens Academy, a free, nine-week program designed to help city of Napa residents learn about their city government. Participants will meet City Council members, department heads and staff; learn how decisions are made, how city funds are allocated and how departments operate; get the current status and future plans for Napa’s development; and expand their knowledge and become more informed on current issues and proposed projects within the city.
Applications will be accepted through Monday, Sept. 14. The academy is free to city of Napa residents 18 years and older. Select “Citizens Academy” from the Quick Links menu at www.cityofnapa.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and registration.
Comment period open for housing report
The city of Napa opened a 15-day comment period on Aug. 28 to receive comments on the 2014-15 Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER). The CAPER lists accomplishments made by the city of Napa and progress made by local community organizations jointly in achieving the goals set by the One Year Action Plan for Housing that was approved by the Napa City Council on May 5.
Copies of the CAPER are available for review at the city of Napa Housing Division, 1115 Seminary St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Copies will also be available at the Napa City County Library and the city of Napa website at www.cityofnapa.org/housing. Questions and written comments should be sent to Joseph Wiencek, Housing Division, 1115 Seminary St., P.O. Box 660, Napa, CA 94559-0660 or by email to email@example.com.
The City Council will conduct a public hearing on the CAPER on Sept. 15 at or after 3:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 955 School St.
See a problem? Let us know
When you see something that needs attention — a broken sign, a pothole, a tree in need — use our online Service Center to submit a Service Request. The Service Center can be used from any computer, tablet or smartphone (the app is available for the iPhone from the Apple App Store and for the Android from Google Play). Service Requests can be made in 27 categories, adding a photo if desired. The Service Center also offers a database of frequently asked questions.
Find the city of Napa on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofnapa or follow city of Napa on Twitter: @cityofnapa. Register for public safety advisories and alerts via text message and/or email at www.nixle.com. To sign up for the weekly city of Napa NewsWeekly by email, contact Barry Martin, Community Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-258-7843.