Despite gardens and a well planned landscape adding a green cover to the home, many people shy away from having them, worried by the excessive water consumption required to maintain them. To bring down the increased usage of water for landscaping, especially during the recent drought situation that’s worsening, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has put to vote a proposal for 30% reduction in water usage for landscaping and gardening. In case it gets approved, it will surely lead to a tough situation, especially for those Santa Clara residents who are already having a tough time conserving water. According to this proposal, outdoor watering will be limited to just two days a week. Although there are some lawns which, according to the landscapers, will be able to survive through this situation, it's advisable to invest in drought resistant plants from now on to maintain the green cover. This will ensure that even if the reduced water usage policy comes into effect, landscape owners would be able to maintain their lawns without much difficulty.
One of the most important concerns for many people right now is how they can reduce their landscape water usage. Here are five steps following which you will be able to do:-
- Use water efficiently – Even if you stick to drought resistant plants, you will need at least some amount of water to keep the landscape alive. Consider opting for drip irrigation systems that help you save water by applying it directly to the plants’ root zone. In case you are watering the plants manually, you should do it in the early morning hours.
- Use less number of plants – Since you have to cut the water usage, reducing plant density will obviously help. If your property is over planted, take the necessary steps immediately to do away with a few varieties (especially, the water guzzling ones) to reduce water usage. At times, mature plants may occupy a lot of space and even restrict the irrigation heads, thus causing water runoff and wastage. In this case too, you should remove some of these plants to make a significant difference to your water usage.
- Consider using mulches – Mulches help reduce water evaporation and improve water infiltration, which in turn leads to water conservation. Consider placing mulches over the soil as it will help reduce weed seed germination by as much as 90%. Make sure you apply a 2-inch thick layer of mulch to get the desired results.
- Benefit from region-specific rebates – A Landscape Conversion Rebate is offered by Santa Clara Valley Water District for up to $2.00/square foot of converted high water using landscape to one with low water usage. By using high efficiency irrigation equipment including Smart Weather based controllers and high efficiency sprinkler nozzles, along with qualifying irrigation hardware for your landscape situated within Santa Clara County, you can receive this and other applicable irrigation rebates.
- Ask for professional help – In case you find sticking to the reduced water usage policy an uphill task, consider contacting a commercial landscaping company. The professionals on board would have considerable knowledge of water management and help you maintain your landscape with less water.
The sooner you begin adopting these steps, the easier it will be to bring down your landscape water usage. So, start today to reduce your landscape’s water requirement.