Get your environment to say something about your business
Creating a landscape with water conservation in mind will not only help you save water but will also send out a positive message about your business to customers and clients.
There are additional benefits to making water conservation a central part of your landscape design. A well designed and maintained landscape not only looks good, but can create shade and lower your power bills by reducing heat load on surrounding buildings. Effective use of native plants can reduce the labor required to maintain a landscape. You can put your landscape to use as water collector, directing rainwater to where it is needed.
If you plan to make changes to your landscaping, hire a landscape professional with experience in water conservation issues. Create an environment that stands out and says something about your business.
Rainwater harvesting is a practical form of irrigation for a wide range of landscapes both large and small. It works best with native plants. A simple system of berms (mounds) and swales (ditches) in combination with the right plants can reduce or even eliminate the need for watering with metered, potable water.
Equally effective is letting runoff from roofs accumulate in storage tanks. Businesses with extensive roof areas may be able to meet a large share of their irrigation needs with effective runoff systems. As well as reducing metered use and the associated costs, harvesting rainwater reduces off-site flooding and erosion by keeping the water on-site. (Contact a Valley expert. West Nile virus is a serious concern in the Valley, so knowing how to prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes is important; visit Related Links.) Most of all, rainwater is free!
The principle behind hydrozoning is simple: group plants with similar water requirements together to eliminate unnecessary watering. Plant the hardiest, most heat-tolerant plants in the areas next to sidewalks (which are generally hotter) or with most direct sunlight. Always install designated grass-only sprinkler zones.
Use a centralized, fully automatic and programmable irrigation system. Keep it well maintained. Consider dual systems — with sprinklers for grass areas and drip systems for other vegetation. Plan a schedule of regular inspections of sprinklers to identify issues with leaks or misaligned heads.
If you are planning to put in an outdoor water feature like a fountain, stream or mister, think carefully about when and how it will be used. In addition to planning ahead for the future operation and maintenance of the feature, you should have a plan for times of restricted use.
Pools and spas
Pools and spas are big water users. Water efficiency starts in the design phase.
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