The California Sustainability Alliance has released Water-Energy Savings from Efficient Landscape Design in California, a report documenting the key concepts for water-efficient landscaping.
The report also estimates water, energy, and cost savings, as well as carbon sequestered, for a case study site in Southern California.
The Alliance investigated landscape irrigation as an opportunity to introduce efficiencies without loss of functionality. It incorporated research on landscape types and irrigation systems and the methodology for estimating weather-based irrigation needs into the Water-Energy Landscape Design Tool. The tool also integrates the following data to improve the analysis so that it may facilitate more informed decisions:
- Existing landscape’s actual water use for comparison against the expected demand and multiple design options.
- Location within California to inform climate-specific water needs of landscapes.
- Operation and maintenance costs.
The report presents recommendations for using the tool effectively and best practices that should be used in conjunction with the tool.
Commercial properties can reduce water use, maintenance and costs while also improving stormwater management by xeriscaping — a low-water-use landscaping method that uses native plants — according to Buildings magazine.