Design or redesign a landscape

Estimate the water needs of landscape plants

For more information

Refer to Chapter VIII, part A, of the literature-review document located elsewhere on this CD for more information about some of the concepts covered in this module.

For more details about the evapotranspiration of crops and turfgrasses, you may find it useful to refer to Crop Evapotranspiration: Guidelines for Computing Crop Water Requirements, Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56 of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization. For a table of contents with hyperlinks to any chapter of that publication, visit

To review the original data upon which Tables 1 and 2 are based, look up the following paper: Pittenger, Dennis, and David Shaw. 2004. What we know about landscape water requirements. Co-Hort, volume 6.1, University of California Cooperative Extension Service. Available for download at

To review the original tables listing observation-based estimates of plants' water needs, upon which Tables 3 through 8 are based, refer to the following:

  • Landscape Plants for Western Regions: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation, Bob Perry, 1992. Land Design Publishing, Claremont, Calif.; hb, 318 p.

    This book is now out of print; however, copies of it are owned by and available from numerous libraries in southern California. To locate the copy nearest you, visit and conduct a search.

  • A Guide to Estimating Irrigation Water Needs of Landscape Plantings: The Landscape Coefficient Method and Water Use Classifications of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) III, University of California Cooperative Extension and California Department of Water Resources, August, 2000.
    A copy of this publication is available in Acrobat PDF format.

    As of late 2006, you can order a printed copy of the WUCOLS III publication, free of charge, from the California Department of Water Resources, by phoning them at (916) 653-1097 or (916) 651-9676.

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