How I Do It: Leading the Conversation on Water Management Practices - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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How I Do It: Leading the Conversation on Water Management Practices

Photo: K&D Landscaping, Inc.

K&D Landscaping, Inc., based in Watsonville, California, recently hosted their third Annual Central Coast Water Summit, at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove on March 7. This event was a gathering of experts, policymakers and stakeholders who all shared insights on sustainable water management strategies crucial to the Central Coast region.

Justin White, owner of K&D Landscaping, Inc., says it is their mission to raise the bar in the landscape industry and they realized there was a gap in the local discussion around water management and the need to conserve outdoor water use, primarily in the landscape.

Photo: K&D Landscaping, Inc.

“The idea of a summit was something we always wanted to put on for our community and we realized in 2021, water management was where we needed to start,” White says. “We wanted to do a community event that included water districts, landscapers, HOAs, architects, water users, students and so on to help educate on what water management is in the landscaping industry. Our goal was to bring awareness to the community and all members that are involved. We wanted a neutral space for the community to come together to help get on the same page about water management and the importance behind sustainability.”

The summit serves as a gathering to keep everyone up to date on the latest laws surrounding water and engage in meaningful dialogue.

White says that anyone and everyone is invited to attend this summit from contractors and property managers to students and HOA boards. This year’s event had 220 attendees. K&D has partnered with the Irrigation Association and even offers CEUs for their event.

Photo: K&D Landscaping, Inc.

“We want to help foster alignment around innovation, to push the limit on what’s possible in the industry and to be at the forefront of idea creation in water management,” White says. “The summit provides a unique platform for the entire industry to get involved; we have people come from all over the country, including longtime water leaders from Hunter coming all the way from Florida.”

This year’s event featured presentations about various topics including:

  • Kam Brian, CEO of Par3 Landscape in Las Vegas, who spoke on water conservation in Nevada and the trends that California could expect to see.
  • DJ Seeger, president of Seeger Water in Texas, explained how they have shaped water usage throughout the state.
  • Max Moreno Jr., director of technology and water management at Everthrive Landscape in California, discussed how to start water management as a service and the importance behind this rising service.
  • Michael Johnson, an educator, water management consultant, and a member of the California H2orticulture Services, spoke about the new AB1572 law that is in effect currently for Californians and the impact it brings to commercial, industrial, and HOA outdoor spaces. He also talked about MWELO (Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance) audits for new construction and what contractors need to know.
  • Kevin Larson with Aspire presented the advantages of technology and what knowing your numbers can bring to your bottom line.

There was also an industry panel with Weathermatic, HydroPoint and Hunter, where they discussed the latest technology in irrigation software and hardware.

White says attendees discussed everything from technological innovations to investment opportunities like creating a water management department as a service. They also covered challenges like restricted water schedules, droughts and fines as well as water governance policies like the MWELO audits.

He says this event provides the opportunity to be at the forefront of industry advancements and provides awareness about water management to the community. 

The 4th Annual Central Coast Water Summit is set to be held on March 13, 2025, at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.