"The last two years I think things have started to come back," says Chris Zanobini, President of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers. "But there is a lot of concern given the water situation that we're facing right now."
Zanobini says warmer-than-usual winter weather has boosted sales for now...and nurseries are already seeing a shift in consumer demand to drought-tolerant ground cover and succulents.
"Definitely there are opportunities to promote California natives and drought resistant plants," says Zanobini. "But there is also information that we need to get out about how to just manage what you currently have and making sure your irrigation is effective."
One way to do that, Zanobini says, is to use mulch, which can reduce water evaporation by up to 40 percent.
Many nursery owners were hit hard in previous droughts and worry about a similar fate as water districts limit or ban outdoor watering.
Record dry January expected in many Northern and Central California cities as drought drops reservoir levels.
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.