El Cajon Homeowner Wins Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest
Program recognizes residents who exemplify outdoor water-use efficiency
Spring Valley, CA – El Cajon homeowner Christine Laframboise was named “Best in District” in the Otay Water District’s WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual contest is held by various water agencies throughout San Diego County to award one resident from their respective service area for their water-saving landscape. Otay selected Laframboise for her well-thought-out design, plant selection, maintenance, and methods for efficient irrigation.
“We are proud to have customers like Christine who are committed to outdoor water-use efficiency and can demonstrate the many attractive features that homeowners can incorporate into their WaterSmart landscapes, especially at a time when California is facing drought conditions,” said Otay Board President Tim Smith. “We encourage customers to take advantage of our free resources and rebates to help with their landscaping needs.”
Before her landscape upgrades, grass covered every corner of Laframboise’s 1,895-square-foot front yard, requiring large amounts of water. In 2014, she took landscaping classes presented by the San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program. Also, a $2,140 rebate from the Water Authority’s WaterSmart Turf Replacement Program supported the project.
With the help of her husband and son, Laframboise took out her grass and installed water-wise features, such as mulch, stone, and low-water-use plants. Her landscape now includes a drip-irrigation system, a few rotating nozzles, and a smart irrigation controller to schedule efficient water use. Laframboise decreased her overall water use by an average of 42%. She waters only two or three times a week and especially enjoys the pollinators that are attracted to her new yard. She can maintain it on her own and no longer needs a lawnmower.
“My yard evolves as I learn more about different plants and where I live locally. I recently replaced dyed wood chips for shredded redwood bark. It is safer for pets, children, and wildlife,” said Laframboise. “I also plan to add more natives to attract more wildlife and further reduce my water use.”
The District will recognize Laframboise at its July 7 Board meeting with a certificate of recognition, a gift certificate to a local nursery of her choice, an award-winning yard sign, and other promotional items.
For more information about the annual WaterSmart Landscape Contest winner, visit
The Otay Water District is a public agency providing water, recycled water, and sewer service to nearly 226,000 customers within approximately 125 square miles of southeastern San Diego County, including the communities of eastern Chula Vista, Bonita, Jamul, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, unincorporated areas of El Cajon and La Mesa, and eastern Otay Mesa. For more information on the Otay Water District, visit otaywater.gov.