There was a good article in a recent edition of Building Operation Management entitled, "Water the Landscape: A Big Opportunity for Cost Savings." While homeowners are interested in saving on their water bill, the homeowners reading this blog post are also interested in saving water given the dwindling supply of potable drinking water.
Commercial and residential landscape irrigation accounts for up to 50 percent of potable water use.
Water fees vary throughout the country. Nationally, water fees have risen between four and eight percent per year over the last 10 years. We anticipate these increases to continue.
There are four ways to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation:
Change landscaping to low-water or no-water plantings. Less lawn and more shrubs, groundcover plants and non-turf grasses can also result in lower maintenance time and expense.
Install "smart" irrigation systems to irrigate only when necessary.
Collect rainwater with rainwater harvesting and use collected rainwater for irrigation.
Use treated wastewater (i.e., greywater) for irrigation.
As the homeowner, it's important for you to take a holistic view of your objectives and to discuss these with your contractor and landscaper.
Ultimately you are the person responsible for, and who will reap the benefits from, water conservation and the environmental impact of your property.
Tom Smith is the former director of operations and marketing at Anua. Tom is driving demand for wastewater treatment, water reuse, rainwater harvesting and odor/VOC control solutions. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business.