A word to those who want to be water-wise: now is a great time to tune up your irrigation system, install a weather-based irrigation controller, or just become a little more consicous of your watering habits. The Irrigation Association designates July as “Smart Irrigation Month” for good reasons:
- July is generally the hottest month of the year, when plants most need irrigation
- Most water used by residential customers is used on the landscape (50% to 60% or more)
- More water is wasted in landscape irrigation than in any other use
There are many ways to get smart about your irrigation habits: new sprinkler technology, replacing water-hogging plants like grass with local native species or other low water-need plants, “smart” controllers that read the weather and give your plants only as much water as they need to remain healthy. Scientists have even developed devices that can be attached to plants so they can send a text message to their caretaker when the plants need water (see June 29 blog post below, but so far that’s only for agricultural crops).
Ask your local water agency for information on smart irrigation. They may even offer free classes for residents to learn all about water-efficienct garden design and irrigation. If classes are not available from your water provider, have them contact WaterWise Consulting to find out about our Homeowner Series. This is a series of classes we can provide for their customers like you, who want to know how to be WaterWise themselves.
For tips you can use now, visit www.smartirrigationmonth.org and click on the Resources link at the left side of the page.