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& Landscape supply

Landscape Water Use and Sustainabilty: What’s Your Definition?

After attending the recent 2011 Irrigation Association and American Society of Irrigation Consultants Water Conference held in Broomfield, Colo., one message was exceptionally clear: If our industry does not define “sustainability” as it relates to the use of water in the landscape, then someone will define it for us.

As of today, there is no legal definition of sustainability. However, the more the term is used in the design, installation, maintenance and management of landscapes, accountability will ultimately prevail as developers and property owners expect to realize the sustainability claims that were an integral part of the entire process.

As developers and owners plan and construct a LEED building, for example, they are going to expect to see long-term energy and water savings that they were pitched during the planning process. If they don't realize the savings, there may be legal ramifications if a legal definition of sustainability is established.

It is critical that our industry avoids "greenwashing" in our marketing messages, and truly commits to communicating and practicing sustainability to ensure our long-term credibility.

Obviously our definition must include the reduced use of water, but it also has to emphasize the economic and social advantages of a landscape that optimizes the responsible use of water to provide visual and functional advantages.

Otherwise, regulation and mandates may very well limit what is visually and functionally appealing in the landscape.

TAGS: Sustainable Solutions, Landscape Maintenance, Water Efficiency, Turf, Water Conservation