What is The Intelligent Use of Water? Using water efficiently Landscape irrigation focus Conservation through efficient irrigation
Why conserve? Water availability Population growth Increased usage Lessen legislative impact
Properly designed, installed, maintained and managed landscape irrigation systems greatly reduce the volume of irrigation water that is wasted every year. How important is Water Conservation?
The World’s Water Crisis There is no new water.
“One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water; over twice that number – 2.4 billion – lack access to adequate sanitation.” -Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations Ninety-five percent of the United States' fresh water is underground. As farmers in the Texan High Plains pump groundwater faster than rain replenishes it, the water tables are dropping. North America's largest aquifer, the Ogallala, is being depleted at a rate of 12 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year. Total depletion to date amounts to some 325 bcm, a volume equal to the annual flow of 18 Colorado Rivers. The Ogallala stretches from Texas to South Dakota, and waters one fifth of US irrigated land. Many farmers in the High Plains are now turning away from irrigated agriculture, as they become aware of the hazards of over pumping, and realize water is not in endless supply.
Water is a finite resource 97% saltwater 2% snow and icebergs 1% freshwater 0.1% retrievable for human use “There is no new water”
Most of Earth’s “fallen” water (rain, snow, & ice) evaporates immediately, pours into inaccessible areas, or flows into the ocean before it can be retrieved. 10% of total rainfall on earth is retrievable for use by humans. Of that percentage, only 40% (or 4% of total rainfall) is ultimately used.
Population growth The world’s population was 6.1 billion in 2000 and is projected to reach 8 billion by 2030. The U.S. has the highest growth rate of any industrialized country in the world - adds 3.2 million people per year The U.S. average fertility rate is 2.1 births per woman (Canada’s rate is 1.4) Immigration accounts for 1/3 of population growth
Water consumption is increasing Water consumption doubles every 20 years Since 1900 the U.S. population has doubled, but per capita water use has increased eightfold
Half a billion people (8% of the world’s population) are experiencing moderate to severe water shortages. The greatest increase in future water demands will be the result of population growth. Population Growth
Colorado River: Falls more than 12,000 feet. It’s Drainage Basin covers over 244,000 square miles. 1,440 miles long and passes through seven states and Mexico Colorado River ranks only sixth among the nation’s rivers in volume of flow with an average flow in excess of 17.5 million acre-feet.
Demands on the Colorado River: Provides municipal and industrial water for more than 24 million people living in the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, San Diego and hundreds of other communities in the seven states. Provides irrigation water to about 2.0 million acres of land.
Colorado River: The Colorado is a major and in some cases life-sustaining source of water for irrigation, drinking, and other uses by people living in the arid American southwest. Dams built along the Colorado River: Glen Canyon, Hoover, Davis, Parker, Imperial, and Laguna Dams.
June 29, 2002 Lake Powell at the confluence with the Dirty Devil River Photographs by John C. Dohrenwend
December 23, 2003 Lake Powell at the confluence with the Dirty Devil River Photographs by John C. Dohrenwend
66% of water used by Residential Community Of that 67% (44% of all water used) is used outdoors.
Options available to address Water Conservation issues: • Water Re-pricing • Water Re-use • Desalination • Water Transfer and Improvements to Water Delivery Systems • Alternative Plant Selection • Conservation through water-efficient irrigation
Water agency reactions to drought Water bans and restrictions Irrigation audits Tiered water rates Water-efficient product rebates Lawn size and landscape restrictions
Texas and Florida requiring rain shut-off devices Southern Nevada Water Authority paying homeowners up to $900 to replace turf Aurora, CO banned installation of new landscapes Metropolitan Water District advertising campaign and website
Why target landscape irrigation? Very visible form of water use 25% to 70% of residential water use attributed to plants, lawns and gardens Prior indoor focus now turned outside EPA Taking notice – ‘Water Sense’
Recent controller focus only part of the solution Average automatic irrigation systems apply much more water than ET requirement Controllers are seldom adjusted System solution is needed - controller is one component
Efficient irrigation requires the combination of four critical components: • Design • Water-efficient products • Installation • Usage/Maintenance
Why should you care? Be perceived as part of the solution, not the problem Opportunity to sell value-added, higher margin products/systems Opportunity to differentiate and grow your business Property owners want to have beautiful landscapes and save $
Over watering creates problems beyond the cost of wasted water Leaches nutrients from the root zone Causes fungus and attracts pests Causes plant death Adds maintenance time and labor Run-off damages hardscapes and is a liability Poor public relations
Lifetime cost of an irrigation system Design, product, installation, maintenance, water and power costs all contribute to lifetime cost Water becomes the largest component over time
Water-Efficient Products and Practices for Irrigation Installation Promote the water/cost savings benefits of water-efficient products Design for different plant needs Become more educated about irrigation efficiency Become Irrigation Association (IA) certified
Water-Efficient Products and Practices for Irrigation Installation Install water-efficient products: Pressure regulating devices Maintain optimal operating pressures Prevent misting/fogging in high pressure areas Each 5 psi reduction reduces water use 6-8% Check valves or Seal-A-Matics™ (SAMs) Prevent low head drainage in areas that have different elevations Reduce erosion & run-off
Water-Efficient Products and Practices for Irrigation Installation Install water-efficient products: High efficiency nozzles More uniform coverage uses up to 30% less water Direct-to-plant-root irrigation in non-turf areas Deliver water at/near the root for maximum efficiency Run-off and over-spray eliminated
Water-Efficient Products and Practices for Irrigation Installation Install water-efficient products: Flow control devices Reduce water use, misting and run-off Automatic shut-off devices Prevent watering when it rains or when there is sufficient soil moisture, resulting in 15-20% water-savings