From drought-prone California to record-setting temperatures in Australia, we are quickly learning there's very little in this world that's more precious than water. It’s the essence of life, and Smart Irrigation Month reminds us it is our job to manage water intelligently.
Smart irrigation practices have been the foundation of DripWorks since we started shipping out of a makeshift basement warehouse 25 years ago. Although water itself is abundant, the ground water and surface water that serves us municipally and industrially makes up less than 1 percent of the Earth's water. The most accessible and economical freshwater sources have already been developed, especially in water-scarce areas. As demand grows and climates change, new solutions are more critical than ever. In honor of Smart Irrigation Month, we’re sharing some of our best water-saving tips for gardeners and growers. Introduce these tips and you’ll save both water and money.
Plant the Right Plants For Your Environment
According to the EPA, the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day. 30% to 60% of that water is dedicated to cultivating lawns and landscapes, with as much of 50% of that water being wasted due to factors caused by poor irrigation practices.
Some communities are introducing policies to curb outdoor water use, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beauty. Some homeowners are trading in their finely manicured, water-guzzling front lawns for plants that require less water. Check out eartheasy and Google the term “xeriscape” for ideas on how to make decisions on plants that save up to 75% of water, and require less maintenance.
As you design your landscape, group plants by water usage and reduce evaporation by adding a layer of mulch over bare ground between plantings and rows.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Growers are recognizing the opportunity to lower their water bills and save water. As a result, micro sprinklers and drip irrigation now account for 38% of all farmed acres. Join the progressive leaders and get irrigation right from the start. If you need some help getting started, check out our Gallery of Plans and kits.
Get Your Watering Schedule Right
Fortunately for us, the industry is emerging with an increasing number of technological answers to our perpetual water problems. Timers are one of the most convenient ways to save water, money and time.
Consider investing in an electronic (AC) or battery (DC) timer that has a rain sensor port that can suspend the timer's program when rain is imminent. Once you have a timer, check them once per month to adjust frequency or length of time. Experiment with less frequent watering for a longer duration and be sure to water early or late to avoid wasting water due to evaporation.
Inspect Your Irrigation System Regularly
No matter what we do, environmental conditions make our irrigation systems vulnerable to leaks, breaks or other issues. Make sure you’re not the victim of a water gushing irrigation fail by inspecting your irrigation system regularly. Keep tabs on your water bill and do a visual check regularly to ensure you are staying efficient.
Tap Into Your Community
As more communities realize the importance of water, many places are offering rebates to residents who remove lawns, purchase smart controllers and make other decisions to upgrade to more efficient irrigation systems.
Many local water districts are also chipping in by providing drought information and water saving tips. Look into your local community for tips and support for getting the most out of every precious drop of water.
What Water Wise Decisions Will You Make During Smart Irrigation Month?
Are you putting any of these tips into practice as the summer heat peaks this July? Or maybe you have new ideas or recommendations for other gardeners and growers? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.