Sprinkler Spruce Up

Prevent Irrigation Runoff
Riverside County Water Protection Program


Riverside County Watershed Protection is required to reduce water from entering storm drains during dry weather to keep their waterways healthy. After conducting field observations, our team learned that overwatering and broken irrigation systems were primary sources of water flowing into storm drains in residential areas. Our charge was to develop a behavior change campaign to prevent overwatering by encouraging residents to check and adjust their irrigation systems.


In collaboration with Riverside County Watershed Protection, we enhanced an existing Sprinkler Spruce Up education campaign to integrate principles of community-based social marketing (CBSM) and specifically address barriers to overwatering and irrigation maintenance behaviors. We developed a suite of materials that included postcards, lawn flags, and irrigation tune-up instruction cards. The materials leveraged goal setting, commitments, and strategic reminders. We also built a campaign landing page to highlight commitments and provide residents with simple but effective ways to prevent overwatering.


By focusing on specific actions, creating materials grounded in social science best practices, and delivering these materials to residents, we achieved a 28% reduction in observed watering days. We’re proud of Riverside County residents for reducing dry weather runoff from their properties to continue to help our waterways thrive!