EPA. Green Infrastructure.
Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. Stormwater Solutions.
Philadelphia Water Department.
Hydrozoning, or grouping plants according to their
water needs, will promote efficient irrigation in those
zones that require supplemental water.
It is possible in many parts of the country to design a land-
scape that does not require any supplemental irrigation. If
irrigation is used, the irrigation system efficiency is another
important factor that affects landscape water use. For infor-
mation on the efficient use of landscape irrigation systems,
Section 5.3: Irrigation
If a water feature (e.g., pond or ornamental pool) is included in
a landscape, it should provide a beneficial use, such as a wild-
life habitat or stormwater management. In addition, the feature should recirculate water
instead of serving as a single-pass device, which can waste significant amounts of water.
Many of the actions that can be taken to improve a landscape’s water efficiency can
have the co-benefit of reducing stormwater runoff. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Infrastructure program focuses on solutions to reduce runoff,
such as rain gardens and permeable pavements.
Local water utilities or municipal
may also have green infrastructure practices to share or incentives to
help improve landscapes to reduce stormwater runoff.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
To optimize a landscape’s water efficiency, hire a landscape professional with a dem-
onstrated knowledge of water-efficient landscape design, maintain the soil quality
and existing plants, and minimize water used for other purposes with respect to the
overall landscape design.
Hiring a Landscape Professional
When selecting or employing a landscape professional, consider the following
attributes and management strategies:
Consider selecting landscape professionals trained and certified in water-efficient
or climate-appropriate landscaping. Existing professionals can attend courses or
seminars to learn water-efficient techniques.
Periodically review all landscape service and maintenance agreements to incor-
porate water-, chemical-, and energy-efficiency requirements or performance
Encourage landscape professionals to report and/or fix irrigation system prob-
lems. Many landscape professionals not only install and maintain plants in your
landscape, but also install and maintain the irrigation system. These professionals
can identify and report leaks or other inefficiencies over time.