What is a water-wise landscape?

A recent poll conducted by The Deseret News shows that this winters snow totals have over half of Utah residents less concerned about drought and conservation than last year.  Though our snowpack in the mountains has increased this winter, our efforts towards water conservation should not decrease.  Utah County’s population is growing rapidly and is projected to double in the next few decades with no additional water sources.  We must use the water for our landscapes wisely in years of both drought and plenty.  What is a water-wise landscape? 

A water-wise landscape is one that is functional, attractive, and easily maintained in its natural surroundings.  Water-wise landscapes have plant material that is appropriate for the climate, functioning irrigation systems, and often have updated irrigation controllers.  Below are some quick tips and links to assist you on your journey to use water wisely in your landscape:

Update Landscape

Start small. Consider converting your planting beds to drip irrigation or flipping your park strip to native plants.  Xeriscaping (not zero!) and localscaping are two water-wise landscaping techniques that incorporate native, drought-resistant plants and arranges them in efficient, water-waving ways.  Both approaches conserve water and can be very colorful.  Practical turf spaces are great for family gatherings and play and have cooling effects for the environment, but most lawns are overwatered. Classes to help convert your existing landscape to a water-wise landscape are available at localscapes.com, slowtheflow.org, and extension.usu.edu.

Find and Fix Irrigation Leaks, and Update Irrigation Controllers

Before setting your irrigation timer, make sure you walk your property and check for leaks.  Leaks are the culprits of thousands of gallons of water waste each year and with many people watering at night leaks often go unseen.  Don’t just set your sprinkler clock and forget it.  Change your watering schedule throughout the growing months to reflect outside temperatures.  Example irrigation schedule: April (if needed)-once every 6 days; May-once every 4 days; June, July, August-once every 3 days; September-once every 6 days; October to shutdown-once every 10 days.  If you think changing your controller each month is too complicated or one more thing to remember, update to a smart irrigation controller. Smart irrigation controllers use real time temperature and rain information to customize your watering schedule for you, saving you both time and money!  Did you know that there is an incentive for Utah homeowners to update your old, outdated irrigation controllers?  Find out eligibility requirements and apply at utahwatersavers.com.

Anyone can have a water-wise landscape through simple acts such as: removing narrow strips of lawn from your landscape and planting native plants, visually checking and repairing your sprinkler system regularly and using a smart irrigation controller.

Recommended Posts