As you drive through suburbia, you will see many homes watering their lawns and gardens. Sprinklers, hoses, etc. Do people know how much water they are using to water their gardens? Do they know how much their garden actually needs? Water consumption in North America is the highest its ever been. Most people use a rotary sprinkler which wasts about 27 L/min, which = 1620L/hr. That's 820 2L pop bottles per hour!!
5 hours of watering per week, costs $40/month!
Did you know that 50% of water applied to lawns and gardens is lost to evaporation or run-off because of overwatering? Are you a sidewalk waterer?
A home rain barrel (100-250L) can fill with a 1.5 cm rainfall? If elevated, rain water tanks can have a hose hooked up to them for redistribution to your lawn/garden.
Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of the plant, and can save up to 50% of the water used by conventional sprinklers.
Many native and drought-tolerant plants are well adapted to the rigours of our regional climate, pests and diseases.
Green Solutions: Water with a drip hose. Costs: approximately $20/month (not including installation)
Greener Solution: Water from your rain barrel. Costs: $0/month (rain barrels can be purchased from most municipalities at a reduced price)
Greenest Solution: Eliminate the need for extra water by choosing plants that are drought-tolerant and drought-resistant. Costs: Seeds and transplants.
Food for thought
The world's supply of fresh water is limited and finite, so keeping it clean and using it wisely is everyone's job. Municipal water purification and distribution consumes large amounts of chemicals and energy, resources that are wasted when sprayed onto a lawn. Fortunately, it's easy to kick the water habit.
Choose drought tolerant plants to save water AND reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Alpine plants love rocks! Try Veronica Liwanensis or "Royal Candles"
2. Choose plants with grey foliage such as Dianthus 'Gold Dust' and 'Grenadin Mix', Cotula 'Silver Mound' or Sedum 'Silver Frost'.
3. Plants succulents like Sempervivum (hens and chickens), Sedum Makinoi 'Ogon' and Chiastophyllum opposififolium.
4. Grow drought-tolerant native plants like Geum triflorum, Agastache 'Purple Haze' or Eryngium yuccifolium.