Smart Irrigation Techniques Can Result in Substantial Water Savings – And are an Important Part of an Award-Winning Landscape - Tampa Bay Water Blog

Smart Irrigation Techniques Can Result in Substantial Water Savings – And are an Important Part of an Award-Winning Landscape

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards is a program offered by Tampa Bay Water recognizing those homeowners and businesses committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using the most water-efficient landscaping practices. 2015 is the 16th year of this competition, and Tampa Bay Water wants to give you a chance to make your landscaping “Water-Wise.”

If you would like to enter this year’s contest, visit Entries are due no later than June 30.

In the third post in this five-part series on the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards, we will discuss the importance of the right irrigation techniques in a water-wise landscape. As seen in this video, efficient irrigation can save water and money.

Using the right irrigation techniques and technologies will go a long way toward saving water at home. One key is selecting the right sprinkler head for the area, which can help reduce wasteful practices like watering the driveway or street.

Efficient Irrigation


Here are a few tips on efficient irrigation:

  • Rotors apply water over a large area so they are good for lawns, while spray heads are better for small areas of grass and some landscape beds.
  • Micro-irrigation, also known as “drip” or “low-volume” irrigation, is ideal for shrubs, flowers and potted plants. Because water goes directly to the root of the plant, there is less water loss from evaporation, wind and runoff, and fewer pests.
  • Adjust your sprinkler timer for various zones to apply ½ to ¾ inch water per application. Generally, rotor zones should be set to 45 minutes to an hour and spray heads to 15 to 25 minutes per application. These may be adjusted to ensure you apply the depth of water identified. REMEMBER: Turn your irrigation system to the off position during the rainy season!

One of the most effective ways to use less water outside is to install Florida-friendly landscaping that doesn’t require much supplemental irrigation. Florida-friendly landscapes incorporate efficient irrigation to reduce stormwater and nutrient runoff while conserving water. Because water is directed at the roots of the plants, where it is needed most, microirrigation is an important component of a Florida-friendly landscape. For information on efficient micro-irrigation systems, see “A Guide to Micro-Irrigation for West Central Florida Landscapes.”

Tampa Bay Water has developed a six-part video series that highlights previous winners of the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Award, and provides tips on how you can make your landscaping more water-efficient and Florida-friendly. Who knows, maybe this year you will be a winner!

For more information on how you can make your landscape “Water-Wise,” or to learn more about the contest, visit or click here to learn even more about efficient water use outside the home.

This is the third in a five-part series from Tampa Bay Water.

Part 1: Does Your Landscape Have What it Takes to be Award-Winning?
Part 2: The Right Plant in the Right Place
Part 4: Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away…Save it for Another Day!
Part 5: Let Your Landscaping Go Native