SLC Public Utilities Water Conservationist, Stephanie Duer is reporting a 50% reduction in water use at the Concord Lifting Station in the months following the landscape conversion for SLC Turf Trade. The location was selected for conversion as a demonstration canvas for landscape practices suggested by the Center for Water Efficiency (CWEL). This conversion incorporates a number of different landscaping practices to maximize water efficiency. Common landscape tactics for increasing water efficiency include hydrozoning, or grouping plants according to their water need, turf area reduction, and optimizing irrigation design and hardwater for water efficiency.
The 50% reduction in water use demonstrates the remarkable impact of plant selection, landscape design, and irrigation efficiency. Most current water savings her stem from landscape design and irrigation optimization. The third aspect, plant selection has yet to realize its conservation potential. The longer return time on plant selection often times puts it off the list of feasible landscape conversion practices. Here, though, a landscape has the opportunity to feasibly, and practically deliver water conservation beyond 50% for the duration of the landscape lifecycle. Beyond the reduction in water, retaining turf in the design preserves the ecological benefits of the landscape.
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Jack Karlin is the Program Administrator for TWCA. His interest is in using policy and the built environment to create livable and sustainable communities.