Irrigate Efficiently

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for nearly 8 billion gallons of water each day. The average U.S. household uses more water outdoors than for showering and clothes washing combined. Below are some resources to help you irrigate efficiently.

Recommended Resources

Switch to Drip

Sprinkler systems and hand watering are only 50-70 percent efficient, whereas, drip irrigation exceeds 90 percent efficiency. Drip irrigation is more efficient because water drips into the ground slowly from plastic tubing through special outlets called emitters and moves directly to the root zone.

UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County have resources on how to install and manage a drip irrigation system.

Check with your water provider to see if rebates are available to help cover the cost of upgrading to a more efficient irrigation systems or install a weather-based irrigation controller which creates an irrigation schedule based on local weather.

Programming Your Irrigation Controller

Over watering and under watering can lead to plant stress. The best way to maintain healthy plants is to provide them with just the right amount of water they need.

Learn how to program your irrigation controller so that you can better manage the amount of water used in the landscape. Check out this guide from the City of Santa Rosa.

Hunter irrigation Controller

The Irrigation Scheduling Tool is designed to help you create an irrigation schedule customized to your location. The Tool pulls data from local weather stations on a daily basis to give you an accurate measurement of how much water your plants need.

As the seasons change, so do the water needs of your yard. Remember to adjust your irrigation controller throughout the year so that you cut down on water waste and your plants can stay healthy. If your irrigation controller has a seasonal adjustment option, check out this guide from the UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County.

Garden Sense Consultation

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Garden Sense is a program of the UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County. Trained Master Gardeners provide free consultations for those who would like assistance with:

Or Call 707-565-3026 to schedule a consultation.

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL)

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The Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) program is an EPA WaterSense labeled professional certification in irrigation system audits. QWEL Pros have been trained in efficient irrigation principles and sustainable landscaping practices.

Water Smart Gardens Maintenance Manual

Water Smart Gardens Maintenance Manual

The Water Smart Gardens Maintenance Manual is a step-by-step guide on how and why to maintain a low water use landscape. The manual also features a maintenance calendar that illustrates when seasonally important tasks like weeding, pruning and adjustments to irrigation scheduling should occur.