Water – It’s Time to Save!

Somersett UnitedAll are most likely aware of the 25% mandatory water restrictions imposed on California water users as the drought years continue.  Nevada also has its share of water problems, albeit most notably in the south. However, we in the Truckee Meadows area are not immune and are using up our drought reserves as both surface and ground water sources decline.  As a result, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) is now asking all its customers to immediately (voluntary) cut water usage by 10%.

The question is, what are Somersett residents and the Somersett and Sierra Canyon Owners Associations doing to achieve this end and perhaps circumvent what is occurring in California? We assume that both BOD’s are addressing this issue, but to date no concrete plans have been forthcoming.  Somersett residents who may have some  ideas of their own, are encouraged to submit them to the SOA BOD at SOABoard@mysomersett.com as well as sharing them via comments to this article.  In this regard, we are republishing a letter entitled “Water & Landscaping Savings” (click on to read) originally submitted to the SOA BOD by a Sierra Canyon homeowner.

Readers are also encouraged to access the TMWA website at http://tmwa.com/.  This website contains a wealth of information on water issues, especially under the “Your Water” and “Conservation” tabs.  Under the “Your Water” tab click on the “Water Resources” link to learn all about the Truckee River system, water supplies, facilities, resource plan, operating agreements, water rights and water sources (animated video).

7 thoughts on “Water – It’s Time to Save!

  1. I have a friend who petitioned the Somersett board to put in a quality artificial turf lawn and he was turned down.

    The questions is, what are the boards doing to address this problem? Writing feel good articles and blogs?

    1. I believe the PUD does not allow for the use of artificial turf in the front yard. Perhaps the same city minion that thought open bbq”s along in the dry grass areas along Somersett Ridge Pkwy is the same one who thought using only water wasting grass or nature’s molotov cocktail, junipers, in the mowstrip.

      1. Generally speaking, I am more concerned about the “inherent” fiery nature of the tumbleweeds, sage and rabbit brush.

        Perhaps the SOA will organize a community “de-weeding” clean-up (thin out the brush) of the common areas, trails and canyons under their control. This may help to contain a conflagration when it comes to Somersett.

        A 6′ clear strip, consisting of rock, decorative rock and DG around the wooden fences seen throughout our community, may help mitigate fire from spreading.

  2. There are some backyards with artificial turf, but no front/side lawns or mow strips – yet.

    1. The Somersett AGC and Board are held hostage by a single sentence in the PUD that prevents them from allowing owners to use anything other than developer/builder installed turf or juniper in their mow strips. That sentence (found on page 2-74 of recorded document number 3738238) reads: “Property owners can request from the OA to replace turf with xeriscape palette in the front yard area and replace the turf in the parkway strip between the back of the curb and sidewalk with an approved low-growing evergreen juniper.”

      Many owners want to use decorative rock in their parkway (aka mow) strip. That is because decorative rock requires no water and no maintenance. Obviously any required trees would remain on drip.

      The Board needs to do what is necessary to have the wording in the PUD revised to allow for other installations such as decorative rock only or decorative rock with a few (species to be determined) plants/bushes. I suggest the Office of City Council person and Somersett Owner, Neoma Jardon, be used to help fast-track necessary PUD changes with the City Development Department so Somersett can institute its changes this year and not next year. Present owners want to get going on being able to make changes and new owners want their builder/developer to be able to install decorative rock from the git go.

      It should be noted that there is no such thing as the xeriscape palette. The only palettes are: (1) Developed Area Plant Palette “will be used in common open space within residential neighborhoods, in the Town Center, and along streets that are bordered by residential or commercial development;” (2) Transitional Planting Palette “will be used at the interface between developed areas and undisturbed areas, along parkway and collector streets fronted by open spaces, and at trail heads;” and (3) Natural High Desert Plant Palette “will be used to revegetate disturbed areas within portions of the open space that are to remain in native vegetation.” These palettes are found in Appendix J of the PUD.

      It also should be noted that per AGC Guidelines, approved junipers cannot be planted in a mowstrip unless the front yard is xeriscaped.

      Further, Somersett allows juniper horizontallis Wiltonii or juniper horizontallis Glomerata while Sierra Canyon only allows Wiltonii.

      These discrepancies need to be fixed now in this time of drought and water saving initiatives state-wide, in neighboring states, and across the nation. The Number One Priority for the Somersett Board must be revising the PUD and correcting Guideline wording.

    2. The TCTC has a play area between the pools and building where artificial turf has been installed

      (about 2 years ago – under Melissa Ramsey’s supervision)

      Surely, if the SOA is allowed to install, then so should homeowners…

      1. Big bosses can speak with forked tongue. Somersett has used xeriscape in its parkway mow strips while not allowing same for owner mow strips.

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