Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Smarter Irrigation

turf irrigation
With Australia set to face a severe El Niño summer, with predicted droughts and bushfires across the country, and the north to have a later monsoon season start, Reece Irrigation has declared November 2015 to be the inaugural ‘Smart Irrigation Month’. 

The initiative aims to create awareness about water waste outdoors and encourage Australians to practise efficient water use by making small adjustments when watering gardens or lawns.

According to Reece Irrigation Business Development Manager Eric Barsky, “While most people understand how to save water inside, we still have a long way to go in educating people on saving water outside.” 

With this in mind, Reece has come up with a few simple tips to avoid overwatering, save money and protect our national water supply:
  1. Water early [ or late], and don’t bother when it’s windy. Watering the garden and lawn in the morning reduces water loss to evaporation. Watering when it’s windy is a waste of time.
  2. Choose the right plants for the Australian climate. Select plants that are drought tolerant and tropically adapted over plants that are thirsty, resulting in less watering and a healthy garden all year round.
  3. Group plants with similar moisture needs in the same area, making it easier to ensure they get the water they need without overwatering.
  4. Install a smart irrigation system. Smart irrigation systems minimise overwatering by adjusting to account for rain and cooler days. They will also reduce evaporation, run-off and weed growth especially pesky sedges - a sure sign of overwatering, thus promoting overall plant health.
  5. Maintain and upgrade automated irrigation systems to ensure they are working. Did you know a leaky sprinkler can waste up to 24,000 litres of water per month? Get an irrigation specialist in to check your watering systems for clogged or broken sprinkler heads.
  6. Use water efficient sprinkler heads where ever possible, and even if you do not have an automated system, efficient sprinkler heads improve water use efficiency.
These are sound ideas and with November weather here in the Top End - hot, windy and dry - all are worth implementing.

If you do not have automated "rain stop systems", most irrigation controllers have a switch - known as a rain stop switch.  Use it - especially after a decent storm.  You might not need to restart irrigation for 4-7 days after a good storm.  That can save a lot of water.

Save water and save money.

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