Pasadena Water & Power

Creating Drought Tolerant Landscapes

Up to 70% of all household water use in California is for landscape irrigation and grass uses 50% more water than any other plant. Replacing your grass with drought tolerant plants will both reduce your water consumption, and will require less maintenance after the new landscape is established.

PWP’s Creating Drought Tolerant Landscapes webpage has information and design ideas to help you replace your grass with drought tolerant plants. Periodically, PWP offers free landscaping workshops to residents interested in drought tolerant landscapes. For a list of all PWP workshops, click here to visit our Workshops page.   

Here are 5 easy steps to help you create a drought tolerant landscape:  

  1.  How Much Turf to Remove   
  2.  Methods of Removing Grass  
  3.  Landscape Design Plans  
  4.  Modifying the Irrigation 
  5.  Maintaining Your Landscape  

SoCal WaterSmart's Turf Removal Program- Residential customers can receive $0.60 per square foot of replaced turf, and commercial customers can receive $0.30 per square foot. The maximum rebate amount for both PWP residential and commercial customers is $500.


Design ideas and plans for drought tolerant landscapes

Here are some design ideas for drought tolerant front garden landscapes. Please note that a large variety of plants were included in these designs, for you to be able to pick and choose from. Not all the plants need to be used.

Front Garden Landscape Plan

Bungalow-Southwest Style 
Ranch-English Style  

Parkway Landscape Plan

Here are some design ideas for drought tolerant parkway landscapes. Click on the Drought Tolerant Parkway Landscape links above each picture to open the landscape design plan. 

Drought Tolerant Parkway Landscape
Exhibit 1

Drought Tolerant Landscape  - Parkway 2 resize
Drought Tolerant Parkway Landscape
Exhibit 2

 Drought Tolerant Landscape  - Parkway 3 resize 
Drought Tolerant Parkway Landscape
Exhibit 3

 Drought Tolerant Landscape  - Parkway 4 

Drought Tolerant Parkway Landscape
Exhibit 4

Drought Tolerant Landscape  - Parkway 5 resize


Get inspired and plan your own Pasadena-friendly garden with "Pasadena's Water-Smart Landscaping Guide,” custom-made just for Pasadena. Find photos of hundreds of water-saving plants, get watering and plant-care tips, take virtual garden tours, and save favorites to help you create your dream water-smart landscape. Visit Pasadena's Water-Smart Landscaping Guide to:  
  • Get the latest information on rebates, current watering restrictions and how-to videos for home 
  • Take the Water-Smart Garden Tours
  • Check the Garden Gallery
  • Search through the different types of drought tolerant plants
  • Design your garden using the GardenSoft software
Need more help with your project? Email us: rsoloyan@cityofpasadena.net.

Helpful Links

Water Usage Gauge