Build Programs to Save Water

Reducing irrigation usage is the result of more than just the irrigation system.  Go back to a basic economics course you’ve taken.  Supply and demand are the main points of discussion in economics, and I like to look at irrigation the same way.  Your irrigation system is the supply side, and your plants represent the demand side of the irrigation economy.

Sustainable Expectations

What results do you expect from a property that is managed sustainably verses one that is managed conventionally?  Many are ok with more weeds or lower quality plant material.  I am not.  My expectations for any landscape are the same.   I expect a property to be clean, weed free, good color and have all of the details handled. 

Spring Startup - It's Irrigation Time!

Winter ended quickly for us this year.  Every year, I make it a point to go through the system in March to make sure that everything overwintered fine, and to give us time to fix problems before the season hits us.  We typically do not have hard freezes, and do not blow our systems out in the spring.  That does not mean that we have no problems in the spring.  In fact, we have had years where heads froze and split at the seams.  That said, it is a great time to get the irrigation back to its peak efficiency. 

Reducing Irrigation Cycles

Here is the biggest forgotten irrigation conservation secret... Don’t use your system!  Take a minute to stop laughing…  In a severe drought situation, this will obviously not work.  In those circumstances you need to work on having no leaks and improving distribution uniformity.  However, in most normal situations, you will be amazed at the water that can be saved by simply turning your system off. 

Using Less Water per Cycle

Once you know your system is leak free, you can start to actually conserve water.  Per irrigation cycle, you can only save water two ways.  You can run for fewer minutes, or you can set your system up to use less water per minute.  It really is that simple.  Let’s look at the controller settings first.  What is your run time per station?  Are they all the same?  Are you using cycle and soak?