Many states, including our home state of California, are experiencing record low rainfall this season – an event that is sure to trigger tighter water restrictions for your Homeowners Association.
But the time of year or current conditions should not dictate your decision to pursue water efficiency. The bottom line is that saving water saves your HOA money – and all communities could do with a little extra room in this year’s budget.
With that in mind, we’ve put together 4 tips to help you save water and save green.
1. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
First things first – develop a water plan that’s made for your community. If mandatory water restrictions are in place, some communities often need to participate in a designated water budget program or water only on assigned days. Water budgets typically determine a specific number of gallons per square foot, inches per year or a percentage reduction of water use. While participating in such programs, communities can typically chose to water how and when they want as long as they are meeting the terms of the water budget. An irrigation professional can help you determine the best plan for your community.
2. Not being proactive can cost you.
Proper maintenance of irrigation systems are often overlooked and categorized as an unnecessary cost. The truth is proper maintenance is one of the best ways for your HOA to save water and money.
Multiple times per year, the system should be checked for broken heads and leaks. Make sure the heads are pointing in the right direction and that the spray is not blocked by other plants or tall grass. If the water pressure is too high heads may mist or fog, resulting in water that never hits its intended target. Installing devices that regulate the pressure will help you more efficiently and effectively water your property. Look into installing high efficiency nozzles – some of which are even rebated by your local water agency. Lastly, consider replacing heads with drip irrigation whenever possible.
3. Be smart about it.
Smart controllers take into account soil type, rain fall and plant requirements to deliver only the amount of water needed. The cost and features of such controllers vary but some can be completely controlled remotely via the Internet.
Some HOAs may deem smart controllers out of their budget but all should strongly consider installing rain sensors. This affordable yet effective device simply prevents the irrigation system from watering during the rain.
Again, some water utilities provide rebates that make upgrading a no brainer.
4. Don’t make a rookie mistake.
Not all landscape professionals are created equal. In fact, many are not irrigation experts at all. It’s important to make sure that your contractors keep in mind and are equipped to help you optimize your property for water efficiency. Work with them to determine the best water schedule, appropriate plant choices and available rebates.
Read More: Water Efficient Landscape… The Easy Way!
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