Today, we are talking about the state of the California drought and what these current conditions mean for property owners and their tenants.
This past summer, I went up to Portland. When I crossed over the bridge at Lake Shasta, rather than it being full of water, it looked like a little stream. I believe the experts said the water is down 120 to 130 feet below normal. It has an impact on how we use water, but it doesn’t mean all landscaping should cease.
As a property manager, I’ve always taken great pride in driving down streets in different neighborhoods with a client and pointing out which houses in the area are rentals. I always love pointing out the homes we manage because they always stand out. The difference is that our lawns are well-cared for, so they look nice and green. This results in higher rents for our owners, less vacancy because the property gets rented quicker and it provides a better return on the owner’s investment.
With the drought, we are experiencing a 15 percent voluntary reduction in the water usage. What does this mean?
It doesn’t mean what our tenants seem to think it means. This summer we did a survey and we found that approximately 15 percent of our tenants had taken the water usage recommendations to mean they had to stop landscaping. They weren’t watering their lawns.
That’s not what a voluntary reduction is. It equates to either watering six days a week instead of seven days or reducing water usage by two minutes a day. Those two things will result in a 15 percent voluntary reduction. It conserves water and still keeps our lawns green. Everything will continue to look nice - as it should.
It appears the drought is going to continue. We’ve had some rain this fall, but California will need two or three years of good weather to get water usage back to where it belongs. What does this mean for owners? It means we need to start transforming our landscaping to install drought resistant plants and shrubs.
We work with properties in East Contra Costa county and we also serve Oakley, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Antioch and Discovery Bay. If you have any questions about the drought, or anything pertaining to property management in this region, please contact us at Select 1 Realty, and we’d be happy to help.