Irrigation is the world’s largest use of freshwater resources, with over 70% of it going towards watering plants. Most of this is for commercial and agricultural purposes. However, that much water weighs pretty heavily on peoples’ minds all the same. The ecological impact of our home and agricultural watering systems is more visible and talked about than ever. Some home systems are so inefficient as to lose 50% of their water to wind and runoff. So we know that there are certainly ways to work on conserving water! In this article, we’ll teach you some of the ways that homeowners can reverse and prevent these losses.
The Importance of Conservation
While your own interest in irrigation may be focused on your home or property, consider the wider impact of all of these widespread and localized irrigation systems. In 2018, American farmers used a total of nearly 83.5 million(!) acre-feet of water. Though water wells provided half of the water used for this effort, irrigating 55 million acres of land is no mean feat. Sprinklers did most of the work as they were the most common distribution method, covering over 31 million acres of irrigated land.
Water in Florida is especially precious. There’s no denying that saving on water waste is a worthy endeavor as water becomes scarcer and more precious.
If you have a smart irrigation system already, chances are it has an internal clock that can help you and your family control and optimize your water use. To help you get the most out of your system’s internal clock, think about the season. Generally speaking, grass needs much less water in the spring months than in the sweltering summer months. If you know the rainy season is about to hit, consider cutting back on sprinkler usage. From timers to onboard sensors and landscape-based controllers, smart irrigation has a variety of tools to help you save on water usage.
Set a New Schedule
In the winter months, before the growing season, your lawn will only need between 10-15 minutes of watering. When April hits, that number jumps to 40 minutes. May and August will typically need the most watering, at just over an hour, with June, July, and September needing around 50 minutes. Starting in October, reduce your watering by about fifteen minutes a month until January, until you’re only watering for ten minutes in February. These numbers come from a study at the University of Florida and approximated, working best if the watering is done twice a week.
They note, however, that you’ll need to consider your property’s layout and drainage when setting the times.
Use Pressure Regulators
Even a minor reduction in the pressure of your sprinkler output can save a significant amount of water and money. Medium pressure systems converted to low-pressure systems can save up to $15 per acre while moving from high pressure to low pressure could save over $60 per acre and reduce the amount of water used by a proportional amount. You can control entire irrigation zones by installing regulators at the valves or opt for individual sprinklers.
Get a Professional Touch
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your old-fashioned sprinkler system or want a brand new smart irrigation suite, you’ll want a professional opinion, and efficiency demands a professional installation. Caring for the environment and conserving water will not only help you control costs but help.