Civic Spark / CaDC Outdoor Water Use Survey

-Amanda Schallert

This April, the CaDC is working with members of a statewide water resources fellowship called CivicSpark to survey thousands of residents about their landscape preferences and outdoor water efficiency. This data will be used to understand what attracts, impedes, or discourages participation in water agencies’ rebate programs and to suggest improvements that could save California millions of gallons of potable water each year.

CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program and a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The fellowship, run by the Local Government Commission, builds capacity in government agencies so they can better address water management and climate change issues. In this new partnership, the fellows on this project will recruit and train dozens of volunteers to conduct the door-to-door survey on several days in March and April.

Understanding landscaping decisions is a crucial first step in curbing water waste and changing the way Californians use water. By gathering a bulk of information about residents’ landscaping choices, watering habits and knowledge of state rebate programs, the CaDC will help identify the key factors that stop individuals from converting their lawns or having CA Friendly plants. We will also discover which resources are most useful for residents in adopting more water efficient practices, bolstering our previous research on the effectiveness of rebate programs.

For more detail on the project or to get involved please contact Steven Kerns at