Tuscany Hills is a large HOA community serving approximately 1148 single family residents with over 130 acres of common area landscape (5 acres of turf and 125 acres of slope). It’s located in the hills of Lake Elsinore overlooking both Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore. Plant, turf and tree health is always a major issue for management due to continual water allotment cutbacks by the city of Lake Elsinore due to California drought conditions.
The association was in crisis over excessive water use. Under the direction of the board of directors, management set out to find a company that was highly educated in both water management and plant health.
They hired Andre in 2010 to address these issues head on. We had been handed quite a challenge to significantly reduce Tuscany’s water usage with a 20+ year old irrigation system and keep plant material and trees healthy.
Step one: Conduct a thorough irrigation system analysis to correct the inefficient use of water. Step two: Identify plants that could survive the extreme summer climate and submit a plant palette that would enhance the property while reducing the current water budget by 50%. Work within the associations’ budget to replant climate appropriate plants in phases.
Step Three: Partner with the city of Lake Elsinore to procure rebate money to upgrade Tuscany’s irrigation system. Step Four: Create a multi-year plan which removes turf and traditional irrigation and replaces with drought tolerant themes and root zone drip irrigation. Step Five: Work with soil technology and utilize natural products to improve the soil composition to improve the availability of water in plant’s root zones.
Tuscany’s water costs went from $600,000 in 2009 to $400,000 in 2012 and have continued to reduce year after year. Their recent costs are now around $300,000 annually even though water costs have risen in the state. We are currently managing Tuscany’s water budget to 50% of Lake Elsinore’s water allotment.