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If You Must Irrigate…

California's water troubles have yet to make their presence felt -- but compliance agencies are gearing up for decreases supplies and growing demand.

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Solutions Executive Summary

  • Water is precious to life...more precious than oil.
  • California water restrictions are tightening! Business will be caught in the gap.
  • Landscape irrigation can be reduced to save money and water
  • Drip irrigation is the best irrigation option available
  • Water conservation incentives are available from local water agencies
Water is precious to life. We all know that. How to compete in this culture of abundance is another story. California's water troubles have yet to make their presence felt -- but compliance agencies are gearing up for decreases supplies and growing demand. Businesses will increasingly get caught in the middle.

Irrigation of landscapes -- and even agricultural lands -- is the first line of water defense tactics. Landscape alternative are available. Native and drought-tolerant plants. Xeriscape. Smart irritation strategies...which is our topic of the moment.

"The Village Gardener’s vision of a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that cherishes human creativeness, diversity, and personal choice. Businesses will responsibly use human and material assets without devaluing the honor of the individual or the planet's bionetwork. All actions in nature and in our daily work have consequences." Frank Niccoli Drip Irrigation systems apply water to the soil very slowly, thus the name "drip" irrigation. Currently this is the most efficient irrigation technology in terms of both water and energy use.

The primary difficulty in irrigation , however, is that there are many, many variables involved in even the simplest irrigation design. Hydraulic principles are rather abstract and hard to understand, so it is helpful to have an irrigation specialist simplify the design process. As state water conservation mandates tighten, it is important to find a designer qualified to design a water-stingy system. Drip irrigation is one method to save you money on water expenditures.

Drip irrigation conserves water because less power is needed to maintain adequate pressure as well as less water is needed because of the slow application that matches soil absorption rates. The fact that the water doesn’t fly through the air is another factor in drip irrigation’s genius.

Jess Stryker's Landscape Sprinkler Irrigation Design Tutorial is a comprehensive online primer on irritation variables for the irrigation purchaser. When you need to know what questions to ask, dig into the helpful tips and techniques at IrrigationTutorials.com.

Incentives for Water Conservation

Many local water districts offer incentives for homeowners and business applications. Check early. Check often. Programs change as funds come available, and are quickly tapped by people eager to reduce their water bills.

Burbank, CA is one city that’s offering a variety of incentive programs. Burbank Water and Power is providing FREE Drip Irrigation kits to Burbank homeowners!

Drip irrigation provides slow and direct watering to your plants. In this way, water waste is dramatically reduced as drip irrigation eliminates water run-off and water evaporation. Your plants prefer it as well as water goes directly to the roots where water is needed. By simply attending a short workshop on drip irrigation, taught by a landscape professional, you will learn the benefits of using drip irrigation and will be shown how to install the drip irrigation system. At the end of the workshop, you will receive a drip irrigation kit worth over $40

Resources for Planning Water Conservation

Native plants, drought-tolerant plants, drip irrigation, semi-permeable pavement, cisterns, graywater systems – there are dozens of ways to conserve water and preserve water quality. Information is readily available online, and through organizations with outreach and technical assistance. Be Water Wise is a Southern California program with website (BeWaterWise.com) that provides valuable information about how to save water…and how to save money with strategies and incentives.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
www.rsabg.org/
1500 North College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711-3157
(909) 625-8767
You can get expert advice on California native plants from the experts at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden who have made themselves available for your toughest questions.

First check out the FAQ's (www.bewaterwise.com), then call the Native Knowledge hotline at (909) 624-0838 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays or send an e-mail anytime (rsabg.hortinfo@cgu.edu). You can also check out their Website for helpful information.

Business Incentives via Save a Buck Rebates

Businesses and companies can save bucks by installing or retrofitting qualifying water-saving devices. Businesses must be located in areas served by the Metropolitan Water District's Family of Southern California Water Agencies. 1-877-728-2282

The Industrial Process Improvement Program offers financial assistance to local industries to encourage investment in water-saving process improvements. The Program is open to all public and private commercial and industrial users within Metropolitan’s service area. Financial assistance is provided for documented water savings derived from projects implemented under the program that meet the minimum qualifying criteria. This program is intended to offset some of the cost for systems that save thousands of gallons of water during a year; improve processes, and buy down project costs over two year water saving projects.

The Commercial Landscape Water Use Efficiency Program puts your landscape on an expertly designed water budget that saves you money. Experts will craft a water budget for your landscape when you provide site data. You’ll get regular updates on how your water use measures up, and you can refine your irrigation practices to reduce your water bills. How great is that! And you can also receive free landscape water management training.

CLCA Landscape Water Manager

A few of the earliest participating companies in the CLCA Landscape Water Manager Performance Test include: ACLS Inc.
Fresno CA 93727
(559) 453-1670
www.acls.bz

Allied Landscape
Concord CA 94520
(925) 280-0161
allied-1.com

Confidence Landscaping
Campbell CA 95008-0648
(408) 559-1800
confidencelandscaping.com

Flora Terra Landscape Management
San Jose, CA 95125-4712
(408) 275-1200
floraterra.com

Gardenworks
Healdsburg CA 95448-0326
(707) 857-2050
gardenworks-inc.com

Glenn's Lawn Care
Lancaster CA 93536
(661) 728-1444

Jensen Landscape Services
Cupertino CA 95014-0555
(408) 446-4555
jensencorp.com

LandGraphics
San Diego CA 92123
(858) 541-1600
landgraphics-sd.com

Pacific Crest Landscape
San Jose, CA 95112
(925) 580-1913

The Village Gardener
San Carlos CA 94070
(650) 592-9440
thevillagegardener.com

Want to improve or replace your old irrigation hardware? The Measured Water Savings Option provides financial incentives for upgrading your irrigation system under a multi-year agreement. A broad spectrum of new, more efficient equipment, such as the nozzles, sprayheads, valves, sensors, and smart controllers, are included in the program. You’ll learn water-saving techniques that save dollars and get annual incentives, up to one-half the project cost of qualified projects, based on verified water savings.

The Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate Option is available for existing and/or new construction. Both builders and site owners can apply for up to $630 for each acre you irrigate with a "Smart" controller device.

Water agencies are serious about helping you save water because California’s water supply is under tremendous pressure and every ounce is as precious as gold. Check with your local water company for local program availability.

Landscape Professionals' Certification for Water Management

Landscape architects and contractors are also getting the message about conserving water. The California Landscape Contractors Association is a non-profit trade organization of licensed landscape and landscape-related contractors numbering 3,200 landscape suppliers, landscape architects, public officials, educators, and students. They have just launched the CLCA Landscape Water Manager Certification program to train and certify demonstrated ability to manage a landscape water budget. Persons who become certified are listed on the CLCA website and on a list of certified water managers on water district websites throughout the State of California.

SOURCE: CLCA.org Check the website for updated lists of certified suppliers.

Be Water Wise Incentives

Rebates from $30 - $3,120 -- The Save A Buck Program offers rebates to save your organization money. Save A Buck is an aggressive rebate program tailored specifically for the Commercial Sector. Rebates and incentives are available to business, industry and institutional water customers on water-saving devices. Businesses and companies participate by installing or retrofitting with qualifying water-saving devices. Businesses must be located in areas served by the Metropolitan Water District's Family of Southern California Water Agencies. It's easy to participate, call 1-877-728-2282

Housing Developers Hold the American Dream in Their Hands

New housing can conserve water from their birth. Developers hold within their power the vision of how water will be handled across a neighborhood. Some developers are making water conservation a priority with the “California Friendly Home” development program:

The Preserve at Chino is a master planned community encompassing over 1,000 acres as the plan unfolds throughout the next decade. Thoughtful design ideas and proven planning strategies with tree-lined streets and parks, walkable neighborhoods, and public and private amenities. A number of developers and builders are providing “California Friendly Homes” in this new community, including : Lewis Operating Co., Centex Homes, John Laing Homes, K. Hovnanian, Lennar, Shea Homes, and Pardee. Other communities that are encouraging water conservation through the California Friendly Homes program are French Valley, Perris, Sun City, and Temecula.

For more information on the on the California-Friendly Home Incentive Program, contact the Metropolitan Water District representatives: Carlos Michelon (cmichelon@mwdh2o.com) or Charles Gale, Jr. (cgalejr@mwdh2o.com)

Some Drip Irrigation Suppliers To Get You Started

We've included a variety of drip irrigation suppliers in this list because we value the savings provided by this solution. If you know of other visionary companies offering drip irrigation and technologies that rank this high in conservation, please let us know. Drip Rite Irrigation Products
Roseville, CA 95747
916-797-8707
"Drip irrigation systems range in size from a few plants to several thousand acres, and permits the cultivation of slopes previously thought unusable and land left idle. In fact, the more difficult the installation, the greater the advantages of drip irrigation." Tom Strong
The Drip Store
San Marcos, CA 92078
760 682-1580

Water Tech - Ag Supply
Escondido, CA 92029
(760) 737-2442

Quantum Energy Group
Applegate, Ca. 95703
530-878-4585
www.quantumenergygroup.com

"Our foremost commitment is to give Californians the edge in renewable energy technologies, creating energy independence for both homeowners and business owners." Matthew J.Nelson
Durham Pump, Inc.
Durham, CA 95938
530-891-0613
http://www.durhampump.com/

Aqua-Flo Supply
Goleta, CA 93117
(805)967-2374

Aqua-Flo Supply
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805)897-1166

Aqua-Flo Supply
Ojai, CA 93023
(805)646-7244

Irrigation Direct, Inc.
Livermore, CA 94551
(877) 436-6922

Urban Logic Consultants, Inc.
Temecula, California 92590
951-676-1944

Cross Brothers Inc.
Los Angeles, CA 90040
(323) 266-2000

V.I.T. Products, Inc.
Escondido, CA 92029-1931
http://www.strongbox.com

Roberts Irrigation Products, Inc.
San Marcos, CA 92069-3007
760.744.4511
http://www.robertsirrigation.com



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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