Water Conservation and Irrigation for the Houston Area
Water conservation and irrigation is rapidly becoming an important factor to consider when planning a landscaping project. Our local water source is a limited resource and if we are not careful we will deplete it beyond repair. Beautification and maintenance of our green spaces is something that many people enjoy as a hobby and others find as a career.
The greater Houston area is a rapidly growing epicenter supporting business development, housing, infrastructure, and recreation. With the development of an area comes the need for more landscaped green spaces. These new green spaces require one key element for their success over time, “Water”. Up until the last few years the water table and water conservation and irrigation have never been something to be concerned about; however with recent climate changes and increased usage, that has changed. Here is a hard fact: “The population in Montgomery County will double by the year 2040. We must reduce water use by 30 percent by that time because if not our use will exceed the recharge of the aquifer” (www.lonestargcd.org) this is startling reality about what is possible if we do not make the necessary changes to conserve water and treat it as a limited resource.
The good news about innovative water conservation and irrigation products
The irrigation industry has been ahead of the curve in the last few years and developed many products based on drip irrigation that conserve up to 50 percent of water usage on average! These products can be installed by licensed irrigators and are an absolute must if we are to properly conserve our water sources in the future.
What are the costs associated with these innovative products?
There are in fact slightly higher costs associated with the installation of a drip system or a smart watering type irrigation setup. At the same time these higher costs will pay themselves back within the first two to four years of irrigation use and continue to save dollars every month when receiving your water bill. The difference in this case is that savings is not the most important part, it is the conservation of a resource that will not be readily available and extremely expensive if conserving methods are not introduced now.
Why should I use conservation methods for irrigation at my home?
If we do not begin conserving water our children and their children will have serious consequences in dealing with a shortage of our most used natural resource. By taking simple action now and making decisions that plan for a more plentiful source of water in the future we can extend the plentiful availability of this resource for generations to come.
Design is key
The most important step in installing an efficient system is the design process. At Absolutely Outdoors, we make sure that sprinkler heads are positioned in what is called head-to-head spacing. This simply means that the first head sprays water far enough to reach the second head and the second head sprays water far enough to not only reach back to the first head but also to reach the third and so on. By doing this we accomplish a very even rate of water distribution across the lawn which will eliminate any combination of drier or wetter areas.
Since plants, flowers and grass will all demand a different rate of moisture and sunny areas verses shady areas will do the same, we take this into consideration when breaking the system into watering stations or zones. For example, your beds will be irrigated separately from the turf because if watered together we would drown your landscape before the grass received enough water to survive our 100+ degree summers.
As stated above, correct head spacing and zoning are key in installing an efficient system however the precipitation rate is most important. We can have all the sprinkler heads in the right places and zones broken out correctly and still over or under water your lawn and/or landscape by not paying attention to the shady vs. sunny areas or low vs. high areas. All of this is taken in to consideration when programming your controller.
Absolutely Outdoors is a leading landscape architectural design-build firm in the greater Houston area.
Located near The Woodlands and serving all surrounding areas, we are re-defining outdoor living.