Water Conservation at The Huntington


Water use at The Huntington

As California’s drought continues and the summer months heat up, conserving water is on everyone’s mind. At The Huntington, we have been working diligently for several years to reduce water consumption. Here’s an update on what we’re doing.


Increasing Efficiency

The Huntington has redesigned old irrigation systems to reduce waste, and we continue to retrofit all older systems with more efficient technology. Additional water-saving strategies, such as mulching around plant beds and watering more deeply but less often, have allowed us to reduce water use dramatically in many areas, including the Rose Garden.


Conserving Groundwater

Most of the irrigation water used on the property comes from wells that tap into the Raymond Basin aquifer. In conjunction with the other Raymond Basin groundwater users, The Huntington has reduced its groundwater rights by 30 percent over the last five years in an effort to help raise groundwater levels.


Highlighting Drought-Tolerant Plants

The use of drought-tolerant plants for landscaping around all new installations is a top priority. The Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center, for example, features six and a half acres of California natives and dry-climate plants replacing the lawn that surrounded the old entrance complex.


Reducing Lawn

Of the 207 acres at The Huntington, about 18 acres historically have been covered with lawn. We are lowering that number by half. We began the process in 2013 by eliminating most of the lawn in the entrance area, and we are continuing this transition by eliminating lawns that are not used for public activities and access. However, lawns play an important role in any botanical garden or historic estate, so we are focusing on maintaining grassy areas that are of use for collections and for visitors.


Partnering With the Community

The Huntington is partnering with a number of civic and nonprofit entities to share information, resources, and water management expertise. This spring, for example, The Huntington and Pasadena Heritage cohosted a meeting that addressed a number of local concern, including protecting the health of trees during the drought.


Educating the Public

Through classes, workshops, lectures, school programs, and tours, The Huntington shares the expertise of knowledgeable individuals about how to garden sustainably, during the drought and beyond. A new lecture series called “The California Gardener” makes its debut in July. We hope we’ll see you at one of the upcoming sessions.


If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at or 626-405-2269.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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