Fair exhibit touts water conservation even in wet years

The state Department of Water Resources exhibit on the farm at the California State Fair urges attendees to make conservation a lifestyle even after wet winters.
Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Published on July 13, 2017 5:21PM

Water-saving plants and landscape features are displayed on the farm at the California State Fair in Sacramento. The state Department of Water Resources is doing a water-conservation exhibit and talks at the farm again this year, highlighting the need to save water even in wet years.

Courtesy Calif. Dept. of Water Resources

Water-saving plants and landscape features are displayed on the farm at the California State Fair in Sacramento. The state Department of Water Resources is doing a water-conservation exhibit and talks at the farm again this year, highlighting the need to save water even in wet years.

Julie Saare-Edmonds, a landscape specialist for the state Department of Water Resources, offers advice on how to water trees in a drought at a booth in the California State Fair’s farm in 2015. The DWR is hosting another water-saving exhibit and talks at the farm this year, highlighting the need to save water even in wet years.

Courtesy Calif. Dept. of Water Resources

Julie Saare-Edmonds, a landscape specialist for the state Department of Water Resources, offers advice on how to water trees in a drought at a booth in the California State Fair’s farm in 2015. The DWR is hosting another water-saving exhibit and talks at the farm this year, highlighting the need to save water even in wet years.


SACRAMENTO — A state agency is returning to the farm at the California State Fair to tell attendees that conserving water is still important even after a wet winter.

The Department of Water Resources made irrigation tips and displays of water-saving landscapes a fixture at the farm during the recent five-year drought.

This year, officials will highlight lessons learned and urge fairgoers to keep the next drought in the backs of their minds as they use water, said Doug Carlson, a DWR spokesman.

“We all have shown we have the ability to conserve water when called upon to do so,” Carlson said. “The governor (Jerry Brown) asked us to do that in 2015 and for two straight years, the people of California managed to come pretty close to his target.

“We know now that we can do it,” he said. “So let’s continue to do something to make it a way of California life.”

The agency’s exhibit, “Water Conservation: Rain or Shine,” showcases water-saving plants and other landscape features and gives reasons that Californians should make conservation a lifestyle. For instance, aquifers in many areas are still woefully depleted as growers had to rely on them as surface water grew scarce during the drought.

For urban dwellers, the display will offer tips on how to replace lawns and access up to $2,000 in state rebates for doing so.

The DWR’s booth has become an annual feature at the 34-year-old farm, one of the most popular destinations for fairgoers. The farm’s attractions include a daily farmers’ market, an outdoor kitchen grill, an aquaculture exhibit, an insect pavilion and talks by the University of California’s Master Gardeners.

This year, the DWR is teaming with the state Department of Food and Agriculture to present new exhibits in the insect pavilion about beneficial and harmful insects, according to a news release.

The Golden State’s abundance of crops and farm animals always takes center stage at the fair. The livestock building and adjacent shaded stalls feature some 4,500 entries during the course of the fair, as livestock exhibits are shown in shifts.

Among the building exhibits this year is one that focuses on farmworkers and their historic leaders, saluting their work and sacrifice to sustain what is today a $47 billion agriculture industry, the fair’s website notes.

The 17-day fair runs through July 30. Admission at the gate is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, $8 for children 5-12 and free for children 4 and younger. Visit www.castatefair.org .



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