water efficiency

Outdoor Water Efficiency for Businesses


One of the best water-wise investments a facility owner can make is in a well-designed, properly functioning irrigation system.

Recognizing the vital role that proper irrigation plays in water efficiency, several state agencies have joined forces with the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association and Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to create Landscape Irrigation and Florida Friendly Design Standards. This describes best practices that emphasize low-impact landscape design and irrigation, such as incorporating existing, native trees and vegetation into the landscape.

Here are several tips on how businesses can increase water efficiency outdoors:

  • Update landscaping with drought-tolerant, native plants
  • Group plants with similar soil, water and lighting needs together and water accordingly – if you have to water at all
  • Use turf only for specific functions like pedestrian areas, playgrounds, pet walks, and storm water runoff
  • Make sure that any water features recycle the water
  • Keep three to four inches of organic mulch over the roots of trees and shrubs to reduce water loss
  • Update swimming pool maintenance procedures

Local governments are required to incorporate these standards into their landscape irrigation and water-friendly ordinances. Check local ordinances before developing or renovating a site.

Facility managers should:

  • Make sure that water efficiency is a specified priority in all landscaping and irrigation contracts
  • Set zones to accommodate the differing water needs of turf, trees, shrubs and plant beds
  • Inspect systems monthly for leaks and blocked or misdirected heads
  • Keep rain water on the property and out of storm water drains
  • Make sure that any water features recycle the water
  • Use rotor heads for large expanses of turf
  • Use rotary sprays for small areas of turf
  • Use Micro-irrigation (drip or micro sprays) for ground cover and plant beds
  • Observe your municipality’s watering restrictions
  • To find a WaterSense Irrigation Partner, click here