California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent State of Emergency Proclamation on drought conditions has focused attention on water scarcity and the need for efficient water use. Texas is also experiencing severe drought conditions. Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have all felt the effects of drought recent years as well.
The good news in all this bad drought news is there are still lots of basic, inexpensive ways to save outdoor irrigation water. A decrease of outdoor water use by just 20% will make a significant impact on the drought. Best management practices and the newest irrigation technologies to ensure water is used with maximum efficiency and not wasted is the first step toward reducing water use.
Hire a Water Management Professional
To battle drought hire a qualified irrigation professional for irrigation system installation and maintenance. Several organizations offer state or national certification programs. These programs typically require classroom, practical and demonstrated results training. These certifications are not easy to acquire and show commitment to proper water management practices. These qualifications include:
• Irrigation professionals certified by the IA’s Select Certified program. The program includes six different credentials for better water management
• Texas Landscape Irrigation License
• California Landscape Contractors Association’s Certified Water Manager program. An EPA Watersense certified program which qualifies professionals statewide who must prove water management to a strict budget monthly.
• Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL), a certification program developed by water providers and landscape professionals to educate green industry professionals, students, Master Gardeners and their customers on the benefits of water efficient landscape design, management and irrigation practices.
Which certification(s) does your irrigation vendor have? If they don’t have any certification they may not be able to properly advise you on the most efficient irrigation products and technology to battle the drought.
Insist on Installing Efficient Irrigation Products and Technology
The availability of water efficient devices and technology has never been higher. Irrigation manufacturers have been leading the water management charge by developing additional water efficient products. Making sure they are installed in your landscape is a simple request. Below are a few you should insist be installed on your property:
- Irrigation smart controllers labeled by the U.S. EPA WaterSense program.
- Drip irrigation
- Rain Sensors
- High Efficiency Nozzles
- Pressure Regulated Sprinklers
Also, have your irrigation system audited for distribution uniformity and checked for underground leaks. This will make a significant impact on water use and if repairs are necessary, systems should be repaired by qualified irrigation professionals.
Improving product selection and selecting a qualified contractor to install and manage the products is part of a long-term solution to the drought. Remember, we are either going into or coming out of a drought so proper management needs to become the norm.
Talking About the Drought
Bruce Beck from DB&R Marketing Communications, Inc was the person who came up with the clever title for this post. For those of you in the Los Angeles area he has put together an excellent panel of speakers for the Urban Land Institute StimULI breakfast in March. We will delve deeply into the availability of water in California’s drought. Among the issues to be addressed by our panel of experts include:
- What, if anything, has been done to prepare for the drought and insure Southern California has sufficient water in the future?
- What regulatory/legislative requirements and/or mandates lie ahead?
- How does California adapt to a hotter/dryer future?
The panelist include:
- Matthew Kahn, Professor of the Environment/UCLA
- Brandon Goshi, Manager, Resource Analysis, Metropolitan Water District
- Tracy Rafter, CEO/Los Angeles County Business Federation
- Richard Restuccia, Director of Water Management Solutions/ValleyCrest Companies
- Eric Garner, Managing Partner and Water Rights Attorney; Best, Best & Krieger
All the information for registration can be found here.
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