Water Conserving Devices


With the passage of AB1881, California’s landmark sustainable landscaping legislation requiring localities to create incentives and penalties for sustainable landscaping, a handful of devices have become mandatory for new landscapes.  These same devices can help you get your landscape into peak water-conserving performance.  These include:

Rain sensors. These cheap and easy to install sensors ensure you and the sky aren’t sprinkling at the same time.  The latest versions come wireless!  We like: Hunter Mini-Click.

MP Rotator Nozzles. Sprinkler nozzles with a uniform distribution and low application rate reduce run-off on slopes and compacted soils. These are available in conjunction with rebates from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and Santa Monica sustainable landscaping rebates.  We like: MP Rotator Nozzels by Hunter.

Low Volume, Subsurface, Drip Irrigation. By emitting the water beneath the soil surface and allowing direct root zone application, these irrigation systems virtually eliminate water waste through evaporation.  They provide another invaluable benefit:  Their low volume allows for long run times and deeper watering with zero run-off.  This enables plants to drive their roots deep into the ground where cooler, moister soil naturally occurs, establishing themselves and preparing for drought.  We like: Netafim systems.

Sub-Meters. Sub-meters track your water usage in the landscape separately from home, providing the information needed to prioritize water saving activities and measure progress.  Meters are easy and inexpensive to install.  Cost savings will be noticeable on your sewer bill.  In some areas, it will be possible to earn refunds with the proof of water-conservation provided by the meters.  For do-it-yourselfers, we like: AMCO meters.

Weather-based Smart Controllers. These devices factor current and projected weather, soil, irrigation design, plants and other customizable site and design specific data and automatically formulate an optimized watering program each day to reduce waste.  These devices work best with an updated irrigation design where hydrozones and microclimates have been factored into the installation.  Rebates are available, and some devices can be operated remotely via a friendly Internet-based dashboard.  We like: ET Water.

Mulch. it may not technically be a “device,” but we count it! Also, for those of you concerned with meeting AB1881 requirements, mulch is one of them.  Mulch keeps plant roots insulated and cool in the summer, and reduces weeds.  It saves water and money, as you won’t be feeding volunteers and other unwanted plants in your yard. We like:  Organic mulch available in bags.  Do it yourselfers may also be able to get small quantities of mulch created from recycled green waste at local landfills.

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