Launch Slideshow

Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

Landscaping and Irrigation Products

Landscaping and Irrigation Products

  • Cyber-Rain. Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

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    Cyber-Rain. Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

    600

    Cyber-Rain.
    Using the Internet, the Cyber-Rain XCI controller adjusts irrigation times and schedules based on the weather, thereby providing for up to 40% savings on water bills, the company says. No day-to-day interaction or fees are required, and schedules can be updated via the Internet. In addition to PC control, XCI Cloud is now available, which allows the system to operate without an on-site computer and offers full feature access via the Internet as well as an iPhone app. 877.888.1452. www.cyber-rain.com.

  • HydroPoint Data Systems. Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

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    HydroPoint Data Systems. Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

    600

    HydroPoint Data Systems.
    Using data from NOAA satellites and other sources, the WeatherTrak ET Plus irrigation controller adjusts irrigation output as the weather changes, ensuring watering only takes place when needed and eliminating overwatering. The controller also can be set for specific plant types, soil, slope, and sprinkler type to help quickly optimize watering schedules. 800.362.8774. www.hydropoint.com.

  • Aquascape. The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

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    Aquascape. The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

    600

    Aquascape.
    The RainXchange system combines sub-surface rainwater collection with an above-ground recirculating water feature. Rainwater from the gutters collects in an underground rain filter and is then sent to a modular storage basin; water is pumped to either the irrigation hose or recirculates through the above-ground decorative water feature and biological filter and back into the storage basin. An overflow tank allows excess rainwater to infiltrate the soil and aquifer. www.rainxchange.com.

  • Rainwater Pillow. The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

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    Rainwater Pillow. The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

    600

    Rainwater Pillow.
    The Original Rainwater Pillow rainwater catchment system installs in a crawl space or under a porch or deck and features 3-inch pipes for collecting rain in heavy downpours with little waste. The unit features two overflow outlets and a leaf/debris filter. A 25-psi pump provides a 10- to 12-gpm pumping rate, the equivalent of most outdoor hoses, and the Rainwater Pillow can be connected to sprinkler and drip-irrigation systems. 770.853.9918. www.rainwaterpillow.com.

  • ITT Corp. The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

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    ITT Corp. The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

    600

    ITT Corp.
    The solar-powered RainPerfect pump for rain barrels provides pressure for a garden hose or low-pressure sprinklers without the need for an electrical hookup. The solar-rechargeable battery operates day or night and pumps up to 100 gallons on a single charge. The unit installs on or is adaptable to most styles of rain barrels. 914.641.2000. www.rainperfectpump.com.

  • Rain technologies. The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

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    Rain technologies. The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

    600

    Rain Technologies.
    The site-assembled RainSpace sub-surface water storage chamber is shipped in pre-packaged kits that include a liner, protective geotextile, core element bundles, sealing kit, pump well, inlet well, overflow well, fire water extraction well, clamps, and fittings. According to the firm, the core structure of the vessels are designed for durability: They are tubular and porous to provide structure and void space; they feature curved surfaces with concentric grooves and circular passages to maximize hydraulic flow and add strength to surface and earth loads; surface and earth loads are supported by and spread over the vessels horizontal core bundles; and structural bundles and the interior lining stretch during an earthquake. The chamber can be designed to fit any size or shape, including curves and irregular or unlevel sites. 866.724.6356. www.raintechnologies.com.

  • Hunter Industries. With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

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    Hunter Industries. With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

    600

    Hunter Industries.
    With a multi-trajectory rotating system, the MP Rotator sprinkler delivers revolving streams of water more slowly and uniformly, the company says, which allows water to soak into the landscape rather than running off; water usage is reduced by up to one-third versus conventional sprays. The device also provides better wind resistance and less misting. The MP Rotator can be used for new installations or retrofit onto existing systems. Water arc and radius can be adjusted without changing the nozzle. 760.744.5240. www.hunterindustries.com.

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  • Rainwater Hog. These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

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    Rainwater Hog. These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

    600

    Rainwater Hog.
    These 51-gallon modular rainwater collection units can be used individually or ganged together in horizontal or vertical applications. The tanks narrow width permits installation on small walkways, against walls, or under a deck, while their modularity allows for gradual unit expansion and use in multiple locations. 888.700.1096. www.rainwaterhog.com.

  • Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmpE8B4%2Etmp_tcm131-783201.jpg

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    Netafim. The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

    600

    Netafim.
    The Techline EZ 12-millimeter dripperline installs above ground using a simple looped system and is hidden under mulch or ground cover. Self-flushing drippers are spaced every 6, 12, or 18 inches for a variety of plant and soil configurations. The dripperline, which is made with recycled polyethylene, features pressure compensation to ensure delivery of equal amounts of water and anti-siphon emitters with root barriers. 888.638.2346. www.netafimusa.com.

  • Rainbird. The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

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    Rainbird. The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

    600

    SinarG5

    Rainbird.
    The company now offers its weather-sensing technology in a simple-to-set SST model, featuring a user-friendly interface. The device tailors zone-by-zone watering schedules to the landscape and adjusts watering for changing weather conditions. A sensor communicates temperature and rainfall amounts; the SST also makes adjustments all year long based on the homes geographic area. 800.724.6247. www.rainbird.com.

In many areas of the country, water use for irrigation exceeds indoor consumption, averaging more than 50% of total residential consumption in the U.S. So, while installing water-efficient fixtures inside a home is an important step toward water efficiency, addressing outside use should be at the top of your list, especially if your projects are in drought-prone locations.

But where outfitting a home with efficient bath fixtures is pretty straightforward, designing and installing water-efficient landscaping and irrigation can be complex. And while such a landscape need not be brown or austere, it should combine a mix of plantings and irrigation components that will minimize the amount of water needed to maintain an inviting environment.

Designing a landscape to conserve water—xeriscaping—requires choosing plants that will thrive in your region and your project’s particular microclimate; limiting the turf areas; making sure the soil on site will promote water absorption and deep root growth; and, if irrigation is installed, using an efficient system.

INITIAL STEPS

  • This Santa Barbara, Calif., yard, designed by landscape architect Jack Miles Kiesel and featured in the book Reimagining the California Lawn (Cachuma Press), showcases how native plants and turf, even in drier climates, need not be dull. The landscaping shown here includes blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea); blue fescue (Festuca glauca); Echeveria After Glow; and blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens).
    This Santa Barbara, Calif., yard, designed by landscape architect Jack Miles Kiesel and featured in the book Reimagining the California Lawn (Cachuma Press), showcases how native plants and turf, even in drier climates, need not be dull. The landscaping shown here includes blue moor grass (Sesleria caerulea); blue fescue (Festuca glauca); Echeveria After Glow; and blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens).
First, do no harm. Preserving soil quality is important for water efficiency. “For new construction, the first order of business is to maintain as much existing vegetation as possible,” says Robert Goo of the EPA’s Office of Water. “You don’t want to grade and clear the whole site; instead, cordon off and preserve areas that have value in terms of drainage and plants.”

Also in the early stages, commit to losing some lawn. Some local and regional governments offer financial incentives to reduce the size of irrigated lawns, and in some places maximum allowable turf areas are regulated. The EPA’s WaterSense program for single-family homes recommends limiting turf area to a maximum of 40% of the site, balancing the rest of the landscaping with drought-resistant plantings and permeable surfaces.

WaterSense also recommends treating slopes in excess of 4:1 with vegetation that will help keep stormwater from running off the site, and covering exposed soil areas in planting beds with a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch.