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Newport Center’s ‘Front Lawn’ Uses 35% Less Water After Drought-Tolerant Makeover

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (July 21, 2015) — Newport Center’s “front lawn”—the entrance to Newport Beach’s premier business and retail community—has gotten a drought-tolerant makeover that uses 35% less water.

The landscaping at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Newport Center Drive features new water-efficient sprinklers and drip irrigation system; smart controllers that use satellite weather data to control water usage; master valves and flow sensors that shut down the system if any leaks are detected; the removal of nearly 16,000 square feet of turf; and a water-catching gravel border to prevent runoff.

The drought-tolerant measures used on the Newport Center front lawn are one in a series of initiatives enacted by the Irvine Company and its in-house Water Conservation Task Force to help local water agencies meet their state-mandated reductions. Among other measures, the Irvine Company is installing 17,663 water-efficient toilets and a similar number of shower heads in its older apartment communities, which will save an estimated 262.5 million gallons of water annually. 

Though the Irvine Company already uses state-of-the-art irrigation systems at most properties, it’s also reducing watering times, replacing any inefficient watering systems, working with local water agencies to extend recycled-water pipelines to serve office, retail and apartment communities that still use fresh water for irrigation; shrinking its turf footprint; and planting more drought-tolerant landscaping. In addition, water-efficient fixtures and appliances now allow new homes and apartments to use 50% less indoor water than their older counterparts.

 “During the current drought, we are aggressively reducing water use at all of our properties, determined to help water districts where we do business achieve their state-mandated reduction targets,” said company spokesman Bill Lobdell. “For years, we’ve been at the forefront of water conservation and the recycled water movement and will continue to be thoughtful stewards of this precious resource.”