With all of the other issues that board members and managers wrestle with day to day, landscaping may not be at the top of their minds. But the cost of inefficiencies can add up.
A typical community association uses nearly double the amount of water needed to maintain a healthy landscape. Often, boards and managers don’t know how much water they are using.
In response to California’s ongoing drought, the community of Westaire in Martinez, Calif., wanted to conserve water and take advantage of several rebate and incentive programs offered by the Contra Costa Water District.
Westaire is a residential community with more than 360 single-family homes. It has a variety of plants, including grass, shrubs and trees. The landscape conditions range from flat lawns to slopes, making efficient irrigation challenging.
By upgrading its irrigation equipment and improving its water management techniques, Westaire was able to significantly reduce water runoff, conserve water and save money on its water bills.
To achieve the savings, smart controllers were installed which capture data such as sprinkler type, slope degree, soil type, plant maturity, sun exposure and root depth. Field data is entered into the controller’s website, which then uses local weather information to calculate the appropriate watering schedule.
After the rebates from the Contra Costa County Water District, Westaire’s out-of-pocket expenses for installation and equipment were about $2,500. in the first year, Westaire saved $10,455 on its water bill, paying 34 percent less than the previous year. It took less than three months for the community to see a return on its investment.