One of the rising costs perhaps one of the most steeply rising costs to many associations in the future is water. What’s a board to do? Fortunately there is no one single way to save money. Some associations provide both landscaping and household water. If we start with landscaping there are several ways to cut water. Several are obvious; Perform a water audit. Turn off all water in the community and see if the meter runs. Turn off by sections to determine where there may be a leak. Inspect externally valve by valve. In the summer cut watering of lawns to 2 to 3 times a week and plants to 1-2 days a week. In winter use water only as needed to keep some moisture in the soil. When the soil is dry 1-2 inches deep, it may be time to water. Water only before 6 am and after 8 pm. All too often we have seen water blown by the wind against buildings. During these hours the air is often still and the temperature has dropped significantly so evaporation is minimal. Water agencies give rebates for weather based irrigation clocks from time to time (from $25 – $80 per controller) and for smart sprinkler heads (up to $3 per nozzle, often with a minimum order of 25). If grass is required and it still seems to be the ground cover of choice in many associations build a plan to reduce the grass and convert to native plantings over a fixed time period. There is a beautiful Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College in San Diego. It has a magnificent array of colorful plants to select from. Many people believe there can be no color when switching to drought resistant plants. Visiting the desert in February or March proves that assumption wrong. Adding 2-3 inches of mulch to bare areas will retain the moisture and curt down on weeds. There were and may still be rebates for turf removal and the installation of rebates for the use of synthetic turf.