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Texas AgriLife Extension Service Texas Water Development Board Texas Nursery and Landscape Association Texas AgriLife Extension Service Texas AgriLife Extension Service
A supplement to the Best Management Practices Manual produced by the Texas Water Conservation Task Force.

Efficient Irrigation

The Texas Turf Irrigation Association has set standards for irrigation system installation and maintenance. Irrigation systems must be installed by an irrigator licensed by the state of Texas. Enforcement of irrigation licensing is carried out at the local level. The irrigation plan should be developed in cooperation with the landscape designer so that the system is designed to accommodate the needs of the plant material, not just water over zones in a random grid. A WaterWise landscape will have only a designated percentage of land under irrigation and portions of the landscape will survive on natural rainfall in normal years. EPA's new WaterSense labeling program also certifies professional irrigators who have gone through rigorous training in irrigation design and auditing procedure - if using a professional, be sure to use a WaterSense professional. Smart Water Application Technology (SWAT) controllers apply water according to plant needs or evapotranspiration . SWAT is a mutual initiative of a consortium of water utilities and the irrigation industry which tests irrigation controllers to ensure that purchasers are getting a product which will help them water their lawn efficiently. For more information and a list of smart controller manufacturers see:
Smart Water Application Technology
Texas Turf Irrigation Association
Irrigation Association Turf and Landscape Best Management Practices

For a reference that enables the homeowner or professional to estimate both water use and water cost, visit the Web site of the Texas WaterWise Council and view the section on the Irrigation Calculator.
WaterWise Council of Texas

These calculators, and training information for irrigatiors, are available from the WaterWise Council. Minimum requirements for irrigation systems in a WaterWise landscape are:

  • No overspray in normal wind conditions
  • Zoning with like-water-use plant material grouped in the same zone
  • Drip irrigation where feasible
  • Irrigation using gray water or rainwater catchment or water recapture from air conditioners or other manufacturing processes in commercial sites
  • Spacing and distribution uniformity in accordance with Irrigation Association standards
  • Rainwater shutoff devices

"A water conserving landscape will include irrigation systems which minimize water waste and take advantage of water sources other than treated potable water..."