July is Smart Irrigation Month, an initiative kickstarted by the Irrigation Association to educate people about the benefits of smart irrigation technologies, products, and services. The campaign is focused on saving water, saving money on utility bills, nurturing green spaces, and protecting a community’s water supply. Why is this important? Because across the nation more than nine billion gallons of water is used each day for landscape irrigation and over 50% of this water is wasted due to overwatering! As we all know, our planet’s water reserves are diminishing and it’s important to save as much as we can.
Irrigation is believed to have started in Egypt, in Mesopotamia. The automation of irrigation systems began in the 1800s, and there has been no turning back since then. The shift towards automatic irrigation systems occurred as the value of a house at that time was often based on the condition of its lawn. To ensure the right amount of water was provided to the plants, the sprinkler system was introduced in the 1950s with innovations on automating controls for the sprinklers. Sadly, these improvements led to a “set it and forget it” approach that has resulted in lots of waste, and often as a result, a lot more weeds!
In our current drought situation, water for irrigation is uppermost is our minds, especially how to use the limited available supply to keep our plants healthy. Want to learn more?
- Different types of irrigation systems
- Water-saving tips
- Marin Water’s WaterSmart Gardening Resource Center
- Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership
Sign up for a Marin Friendly Garden Walk, a partnership between UC Marin Master Gardeners and Marin Municipal Water District. The free hour-long Garden Walk consultation by two Marin Master Gardeners provides Marin homeowners with information and advice on improving their irrigation practices and conserving water. To make an appointment complete this online request form. A Marin Master Gardener will contact you to confirm your appointment. Learn more about Garden Walks.