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Water trees not lawns

A crash-course in watering was the lesson at Tuesday’s city council meeting in Santa Barbara, thanks to the city’s arborist along with a surprise drought-related announcement.

“We want you to water your trees,” said Josh Haggmark, Water Resources Manager for the City of Santa Barbara.

You heard right.

After more than five years of drought and countless dead and dying trees, residents are now being asked to protect what’s considered a “significant investment” in our community.

“Trees provide a lot of shade, cooling and other things that I think are important in Santa Barbara and important to the look of Santa Barbara and the feel of Santa Barbara,” Haggmark said.

“Is there enough water for us to water our trees?” NewsChannel 3 asked Haggmark.

“There is,” he said and explained that water will come from “existing planned supplies.”

However, in order for there to be enough water for our trees, local residents must stop watering their lawns; specifically ornamental and decorative lawns.

Haggmark said the city council unanimously approved draft language Tuesday for a turf watering ban. It goes back before the council on December 6 for approval and is expected to go into effect January 1.

The city is also pushing for a new water-conservation goal of 40% from all residents; 30% to 35% percent in the winter months and as much as 50% in the summer.

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