Saving Water with Xeriscape — A philosophy of conservation of water through creative landscaping.
The term Xeriscape is derived from the Greek word Xeros meaning “dry”, combined with the word “landscape”. The term was coined by the Front Range Xeriscape Task Force of the Denver Water Department in 1981.
While Xeriscaping is mostly associated with the arid landscapes of the Southwestern U.S., its can actually have a green and lush feel if you’d prefer. The main concepts are applicable to all gardens and landscapes.
A xeriscape creates a visually attractive landscape that uses plants selected for their water efficiency. Properly maintained, a xeriscape uses less than one-half the water of a traditional landscape.
All across America, communities are faced with increased demands on existing water supplies. There is a great focus on water conservation, not just in times of drought, but in anticipation of future population growth. Water can no longer be considered a limitless resource.
The basic fundamental concepts and principles of Xeriscape landscaping are:
- Group plants according to their water needs.
- Use native and low-water-use plants.
- Limit turf areas to those needed for practical uses.
- Use efficient irrigation systems and schedule them wisely.
- Make sure soil is healthy, and mulch.
- Conservation of natural resources and preservation of habitat for plants and wildlife.
- Decreased energy use because less pumping and treatment of water is required.
- Reduced home or office heating and cooling costs through the careful placement of trees and plants.
- Reduced runoff of storm water and irrigation water that carries top soils, fertilizers, and pesticides into lakes, rivers and streams.
- Fewer yard trimmings.
- Reduced landscaping labor and maintenance costs.
- Extended life for water resources infrastructure thus reduced taxpayer costs.
- In short, plan and maintain your landscape with these principles of water efficiency in mind and it will continue to conserve water, as well as be attractive
Proper landscaping techniques not only create beautiful landscapes, but also benefit the environment and save water. In addition, attractive, water-efficient, low-maintenance landscapes can increase home values!
Convert to Drip Irrigation Systems. Drip irrigation systems (micro-irrigation systems) deliver water directly to your plants with minimal waste. According to Colorado State University, drip irrigation systems are around 90 percent efficient, whereas traditional sprinkle systems are only around 50-60 percent efficient.
Less lawn means less mowing, and less mowing means reduced use of a power source. Less lawn space can also promote water conservation. Lawns require more watering than planting beds. And speaking of irrigation, it is a common misconception that automatic irrigation systems are wasteful. On the contrary: if used properly, automatic irrigation systems can promote water conservation.
Energy Conservation with Plants
A few strategically planted trees can help to cool off a building and reduce the amount of energy allocated to air conditioning.
Our Home Environment goes beyond the Indoors. Our yards have become our outdoor homes – a place to relax and for our children to play. Strategically planting trees and shrubs to shade your home and keep your home naturally cooler in summer can save you money on energy costs per year-while also providing food and housing for birds, protecting against erosion, and cleaning the air as the plants soak up carbon dioxide. With simple GreenScaping principles, you can save time and money while protecting the environment and improving the health and appearance of your yard.
- Save Time by landscaping with plants that require less care.
- Save Money by eliminating unnecessary watering.
- Protect the Environment by using chemicals properly when they are necessary.