Drought. It’s an ominous word that arrives here in the Hamptons. Ever since the National Weather Service reported that Long Island had been suffering the driest winter and spring in 13 years, concerns about water usage and conservation have been part of every thought and conversation on topics from watering the lawn to making a cool glass of iced tea.
The Irrigation Association is educating irrigation professionals and the public with some sensible programs and promotions for water-efficient products and services. “Using these types of controllers has dramatically reduced unnecessary water consumption,” says Robert Boyle of RB Irrigation in Westhampton Beach.
The first of these, called WaterSense, is a voluntary public-private partnership program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Its mission is to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for more water-efficient products and services.
WaterSense recommends these simple methods of saving water:
For Lawns & Landscapes:
- Water lawns and gardens during the coolest part of the day, such as early morning, when there’s less evaporation.
- Set sprinklers to ensure they’re watering grass and plants, not getting on the street or sidewalk.
- Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
Use Your Appliances Wisely:
- Wash only full loads.
- Scrape off dishes before loading into the dishwasher, don’t rinse them.
- Replace old washers with Energy Star qualified appliances that use less water.
Replace Leaky Toilets:
- Use high-efficiency models that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush.
Conserve Drinking Water:
- Keep cold water in the refrigerator – don’t run water out of tap until it is cold.
- If you can, use left over water for other projects such as watering plants or cleaning.
Consult an irrigation professional who is certified through a WaterSense program. A certified professional can design, install and, most of all, maintain your system to ensure optimal efficiency.
At the present time there is a need in the irrigation industry for irrigation professionals to become certified in auditing in order to help conserve water. This gives your irrigation contractor the knowledge needed to inform you and to utilize the types of water-saving technology such as weather-based irrigation controllers and moisture sensors, available for your outdoor watering system.
Another example of this technology is the climate or soil moisture sensor-based ‘smart” controllers which evaluate weather and soil moisture conditions. These controllers then calculate and automatically adjust the irrigation schedule to meet the specific needs of your landscape.