THE HORROR OF WATER WASTE! | How to SAVE water whilst USING water?
Back in 2019 I was asked to assemble a panel of experts and host a live debate at The Landscape Show on the topic of Rainwater Harvesting. As I went about planning the event I delved into the labyrinth of water usage and more importantly water wastage...to my horror I found that, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), England and Wales lose over 3 billion litres of water every day from leaking pipes!
To give that figure context it would fill 1,180 Olympic swimming pools and that's every. single. day! What's even more concerning is that figure is currently growing. Couple this with the fact that the average person uses over 140 litres of water per day (and growing) the overall problem is going from bad, to worse!
Solving the growing problem that is the UK's aging water system is a little beyond me.... HOWEVER I truly believe that we should all be doing our bit to save water. So, how can the collective 'we' (the Horticultural industry) save water?
In my humble opinion the obvious choice is to harvest rainwater at any given opportunity. Following on from the SuDS regulations I believe it's only a matter of time before recycling rainwater will become a requirement for new developments and we will be central to this.
Far too often the thought of a tank based irrigation system sends even an experienced landscaper running scared! So, does it really need to? Personally I don't think so! Obviously that's easy for me to say sat in a nice warm office with my morning coffee so let's split it down into four key areas:
When looking at any irrigation system, you can split it into four key areas...
Water Supply: Anything from a small water butt, garden tap or large underground tank, all of which are simply a source of water.
Method of switching: This can be as simple as turning your tap on, to programming a timer or even enabling a smart system to switch dependant on weather. Ultimately they're all achieving the same goal, just with different methods.
Moving water: A temporary hosepipe, laying a permanent pipe, or even carrying a watering can are all a method of moving water to parts of your garden where it is needed.
Delivery: a spray gun on a hosepipe, a rose on a watering can or a pop up sprinkler in a lawn.... you understand where I'm going with this.
As simple as that sounds I must stress that installing a rainwater harvesting tank is slightly more complex than purchasing a watering can or hosepipe however once installed your client doesn't need to remember to carry the tank around their garden everyday (thankfully!). They can simply sit back and enjoy their beautiful garden while the irrigation takes care of itself. Not only will an irrigation system cut down the hours of manual watering, but you can also zone the system to make sure the planting only receives the required amount of water whereas hand water will almost always result in either over or under watering.
So, how do you go about including a rainwater harvesting system in your next project? Firstly, if you're not familiar or confident specifying a system then give us a call. We'll talk you through the options and help you put together a plan of action so that you can offer your client a full rainwater harvesting, automatic irrigation system that they, and their plants, will love you for!
If you need anything help or advice as always feel free to get in touch either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call on 01666 577577.