The Drought and Union City

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What are we doing about it?

 30 Million Gallons of Water Saved in 2015

Public Works Water Conservation Program is a Big Way!

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record and California residents asked to heavily restrict their water use, we take very serious all of the necessary actions to conserve water use.  In fact, Union City has been executing water conservation measures to cope with this unprecedented drought for the last several years. 

The City's Public Works crews do an outstanding job of implementing the following: 

  • Replacement of roughly 750,000 square feet of underutilized lawn and sod throughout the City;

  • Use of urban forest wood chips to mulch parks, railroad corridors, back-ups and medians to improve soil and help preserve moisture;

  • Installation of drip systems. which is a low-volume watering system that delivers water through a variety of methods, including dripping, spraying and streams. Therefore, allowing the plants and soil to be moist, not soaked;

  • Use of terra-sorb gel and dri-water products in all "shrub to tree" planting. The products have water absorbing polymers that retain up to 400 times their weight in water. It provides water savings benefits for up to 5-7 years;

  • Installation of over 75 smart irrigation controllers where watering needs are self-adjusted according to the weather station information, even shutting off water use completely after it rains. The smart irrigation controllers have alarms for broken sprinklers, mainlines and electrical issues making it easy for City staff to make repairs;

  •  Routine system checks by City staff to ensure irrigation system is working properly;

  • Use of native and Mediterranean adaptive plants that are drought tolerant;

  • Ability to use more affordable and unprocessed water from five city-owned wells;

  • Use of analog Soil Moisture Meter provides instant results on soil moisture levels, which helps to determine if certain areas need to have their irrigation controls adjusted;

  • Work closely with Alameda County Water District to review and make adjustments to the City's water conservation program;

  • Use of lawn aerator to plug holes in lawns allowing water, air and fertilizer to penetrate to root zone;

  • City staff tend to use the most water (still conservatively) at parks that receive the most foot traffic, crowds of people or where sports are played. A lush, thick grass is imperative to the safety of those playing on our sports fields.


Matt - reseeding Town Estates Park lawn


What Can You Do To Save Water?

Check out these links that provide a large list of ways you can conserve at home.