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Reduce the amount of water your landscape needs with efficient irrigation. Photo: Peggy Choucair/Pixabay

Irrigation Efficiency Impacts Plant Health and Water Use

Irrigation systems have a lot of interconnected mechanical elements. They must be thoughtfully designed, installed and programmed. Once in place, irrigation systems must be maintained properly for optimal performance.

“Irrigation efficiency” is a way of describing how well your irrigation system is delivering water for the beneficial use of the plants in your landscaping.

Issues that adversely affect the performance of your irrigation system can greatly reduce its efficiency and cause you to use more water than needed. The issues fall in three major categories: site conditions in your landscaping, irrigation control, and the uniform distribution of water by your irrigation system.

Three ways to maximize irrigation impact

There are three ways to improve your irrigation system efficiency by upgrading and continuously maintaining it for maximum efficiency.

• Smart Irrigation Management
• State of the Art System Upgrades
• Matching Irrigation to Your Hydrozones

Intelligent irrigation begins by understanding that “setting and forgetting” your irrigation controller is a thing of the past. Even if you don’t have a “smart” irrigation controller to adjust your program for weather conditions, you should be more proactive in managing your watering, and more closely try to match your watering schedule with the actual water needs of your landscaping.

Upgrading your system with state-of-the-art components is a good investment and the single most significant thing you can do to save water.

Tips on professional help with your irrigation needs

You may decide to get professional help with your irrigation system. Look for designers or contractors qualified to provide these services. Credentials such as the Irrigation Association’s Certified Irrigation Designer designation can help assure your project will be successful. You can also ask if your contractor is a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (OWEL).


This article was inspired by the 71-page Sustainable Landscapes Program guidebook available at SustainableLandscapesSD.org. The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including free WaterSmart classes at WaterSmartSD.org.

Water Wise: Fair Shows Ways To Use Less Water And Help Native Plants

Water-wise planting, pool safety and groundwater pollution — the Joshua Basin Water District’s annual Water Education Day focused on a crucial aspect of desert living: the Basin’s relationship with water. Public outreach consultant Kathleen Radnich helped greet locals as they made their way into the biggest Water Education Day yet. “It’s been a very good turnout,” she said. “One of our big draws is our native plant sale and that has over 460 plants this year.” The water district’s native plants are grown with the help of Joshua Tree National Park. While harvesting is illegal within the park borders, harvested plants from outside of the park can be nurtured within the park’s nursery and distributed.

‘We’re Rolling’: Irrigation Season Begins For Klamath Project

Water rushed forth into the A Canal in Klamath Falls Tuesday afternoon as Fritz Frisendahl and Scott Cheyne of the Klamath Irrigation District opened the headgates via the control panel. Between 20- and 40-cubic feet per second of water is now traveling through the canal, about as much water to fill about 20 bathtubs per second, according to Gene Souza, manager of the Klamath Irrigation District. Frisendahl, who helped turn on the headgates, has been through some tough water years in the Klamath Basin, including the 2018 drought.

Costa Mesa High School Environmental Science Students Collect Samples, Data In The Back Bay

After months of research, Costa Mesa High School environmental science students returned to the Newport Beach Back Bay Science Center Tuesday to gather final data in their examinations of biodiversity in and along the estuary. The Advanced Placement students formed teams of three to five and in October began researching water quality, mud invertebrates, avian migration and other subjects. Though teachers provided a list of potential topics, students were given the opportunity to “[find] their way toward something that interests them,” said Cristen Rasmussen, an AP environmental science teacher at the high school.

Farmers Welcome Federal Agencies’ Suits On Flows Plan

Now that the federal government has filed its own lawsuits against an unimpaired-flows plan for San Joaquin River tributaries, farmers and other parties to the lawsuits wait to learn where they will be heard–and prepare for a lengthy court battle. The U.S. departments of Justice and Interior filed suits in both federal and state courts last week, against the plan finalized last December by the State Water Resources Control Board. The plan would redirect 30 to 50 percent of the flows in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers in an attempt to increase fish populations.