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Gardening workshop scheduled this morning in Pleasanton

Saturday's free class to tell gardeners to prepare for spring, save money

With recent rains still not enough to cover California's water woes, the first of two water-wise gardening workshops is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at the Pleasanton Library, 400 Old Bernal Ave.

The second will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. April 24 at the Dublin Library, 200 Civic Plaza in Dublin. .

The free public workshops are being hosted by the Zone 7 Water Agency, along with retail water providers serving Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon. They are aimed at helping people learn how to create beautiful, low-maintenance, water-conserving yards.

"We've had a lot of rain this spring, but we're on the heels of three years of drought," said Boni Brewer, spokeswoman for Zone 7. "We have legal restrictions regarding pumping out of the delta because of the ecological crisis there and there's a new state law that requires communities across the state to reduce water usage by 20 percent per capita by 2020."

Reducing outdoor water use is, according to Zone 7, typically the single-biggest way to cut down on waste and save on water bills.

Local plant and irrigation experts will discuss how much water plants really need, what types of plants are the most water-efficient, and irrigation practices that can save water.

The workshops will also include a short demonstration on how to use the new Tri-Valley Water-Wise Gardening website, which can be accessed at www.zone7water.com. Representatives from Zone 7, the Valley's water wholesaler, as well as from the Valley's retail water providers -- the cities of Pleasanton and Livermore, the Dublin San Ramon Services District, and the California Water Service Company -- will also provide information.

To learn more about Zone 7 Water Agency, visit www.zone7water.com.

--Emily West

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