Changes in precipitation resulting from climate change may include increased periods of drought and more extreme storm events, creating more variability in the timing and volume of water from rain events (see information here). Saltwater intrusion is already impacting freshwater supplies and wells along the coast with changes in salinity. As water continues to become an increasingly scarce and valuable resource in Florida, the design of landscapes and irrigation systems will need to be responsive to these changes, in part by continuing to follow best design practices focused on well-designed irrigation systems that make efficient use of water, water-wise planting choices, and water harvesting and reuse strategies.
Commonly accepted but potentially useful practices include minimizing loss of irrigation water within the landscape, use of low flow systems where appropriate, and using reclaimed water where feasible to reduce water demand. Irrigation moisture sensors and smart irrigation controllers may also help address climate change impacts by reducing water use through user error (setting controllers incorrectly) and increasing efficiency.
Irrigation manufacturers consulted in the development of this website stress the importance of educating irrigation designers and contractors regarding efficient and water-wise irrigation design. The resources below provide additional sources of information.
Florida Water Star Irrigation and Landscaping: https://floridawaterstar.com/technicalmanual/
Waterwise Plant Database: http://publicserver2.sjrwmd.com/waterwise/search.jsp
EPA Watersense Directory of Certified Professionals: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/find-pro
25 Ways to Save Water: http://25ways.rainbird.com/
Reed and Stibolt. (2018). Climate-Wise Landscaping]]>