What this drought means for our profession!

A lot of talk, press, discussion, worry and concern has resulted from the lack of rain this winter.  Even with the rains that we have received the last few days totaling a little less than an inch of rain, we still should be worried.  In Santa Rosa, we have received 13.15 inches of rain this season (25.15 normal) and Petaluma has received 12.3 inches of rain this season (17.5 normal) we are looking like this will be probably the driest season on record.

So, what do professionals in our industry do?  In normal years, we design and develop properties with plants, irrigation systems, pools, water features, ponds, etc.  and that’s what our clients request day in and day out.   On the above projects, in a normal year, we recommend our clients consider drought tolerant, appropriate species that require little to no maintenance, design highly efficient irrigation systems that adjust to the specific irrigation needs of each valve area based on the weather.  We design water features with basin-less features, we always put a pool cover on our pools to reduce evaporation.  BUT THAT IS A NORMAL YEAR…this is not a normal year.

I recently read a Press Democrat article interviewing local landscape maintenance contractors (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140201/business/140209982#page=1) and I have worked with most of the contractors.  They are all professional, highly respected companies that do all they can to promote water efficient landscaping.  But, as the title of the article states, they’re worried about the future with the drought.  So, what do professionals do to make sure that the landscape industry continues?

First off, get with the program.  Do not design high-water use landscapes. Do not include in designs or new installations plants that are not appropriate for the region. Design highly efficient irrigation systems that adjust with weather (rain, sun, wind, temperature, etc.).  Take all environmental factors into place and don’t over do it!

Firma Design Group is fully committed to designing sustainable environments and is certified in Landscape Irrigation Auditing (CLIA) by the Irrigation Association and Bay Friendly Qualified Professional in landscape design.  We are always here to assist with our clients and contractor needs.