Implementation in the Design Process:
Evaluate the site for existing natural features for water capture and vegetated areas that require low water input. Define areas of different plant communities based on water input requirements. Identify opportunities for water harvest and reuse. Perform general calculations for water consumption and identify available sources for the water.
As the design continues, update calculations and select native and water-efficient plant communities based on the community’s location, slope, soil, and hydrologic regime. Develop and finalize details and specifications for irrigation, water harvest, and water reuse systems.
Hold a preconstruction meeting to identify requirements for landscape water efficiency and maintenance requirements. Monitor submittals for compliance with plans and details as the project moves toward completion. Make bidders aware of specific requirements for landscape water efficiency and maintenance requirements.
Create an operation and maintenance manual to protect and maintain the plant material and the irrigation from potable and non-potable sources used onsite. Consider requiring a first- and second-year maintenance program to ensure establishment of plant communities, which will enable them to continue to perform, once established, with the designed level of water and chemical inputs.
Calculations and Base Case:
Calculations used for this guideline include determination of the base-case and design-case irrigation consumption.
The base and design cases water consumption may be calculated using the Interactive Water Budget Tool from EPA Water Sense: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/water-budget-tool or by a manual calculation using the landscape coefficient method The base-case water consumption should be calculated using a typical mix of turf grass, building-adjacent shrubs, and other typical vegetation.