Gone are the days when it was an accepted practice to leave sprinklers running all day and landscapes were watered at any and all hours. As this resource becomes more of an endangered species, the rage today is all about water conservation and sustainability.

July marks the annual peak usage of water, so it’s no surprise that the Irrigation Association has chosen it as Smart Irrigation Month. Even though water conservation practices should be happening year-round, the association uses this month to really focus on usage and educate lawn care professionals, landscape contractors and anyone in the green industry on what you can do to keep the properties you maintain up to par while using less water.

With water restrictions becoming more common by the day, you need to be on the cutting-edge with how to effectively care for your clients’ properties while using less and less water. So, how are you dealing with it? If you are unsure of where to start, take a look at our online irrigation forum at DesignBuild-Site.com. There you can network with other irrigation professionals in the industry on how to install systems, discuss the newest technology, troubleshoot problems and more.

Also, make sure to check out the Irrigation Association’s website at www.irrigation.org. Along with the abundance of education offerings, certification information, updates on policy changes and more, they have now launched an online toolkit to help promote irrigation efficiency to your customers. The toolkit includes items such as a sample proclamation so your local government can also declare July as Smart Irrigation Month, statement stuffers with watering tips for your customers, educational articles you can use in your marketing materials and much more. Education is definitely key as water becomes more scarce – and more regulated.

This month, I challenge you and your company to make one change towards water conservation. It could be anything from researching low-water-use grasses to upgrading irrigation systems to anything that can lower the amount of water you use for landscape maintenance. Small changes add up, and if every company helps the industry move in the right direction, we can all make a huge difference.

Amy K. Hill