With spring on the way, now is the perfect time to start planning for a sustainable landscape. Taking steps toward sustainable landscaping is an easy way to take action on climate and provides enormous benefits for your property, the community’s resilience to climate change, and our natural resources.
Concord’s water demand often doubles during the summer months, largely due to nonessential outdoor water use. With high temperatures, low precipitation, and more residents at home, Concord’s water use increased 125% last year as compared to usage in the prior year (2019). The more we can invest in smart water management efforts now, the more resilient our community will become.
What is the Town doing to conserve water?
Concord Public Works’ (CPW) Water & Sewer Division works to ensure that the community has safe, reliable drinking water. This charge is becoming increasingly difficult each year as limited precipitation, increased average temperatures, and more frequent extreme heat days alter the ways in which water is used in the community. Some of the many water conservation initiatives in Town include:
- A recently revised Seasonal Water Demand Management Plan (SDMP) that focuses restrictions on lawn watering, as this creates the largest demand for water during the summer season. The SDMP encourages best management practices for sustainable watering in an effort to reduce the burden on our region’s water supplies, which can in turn translate to reduced environmental impacts as well as operational costs
- Availability of rebates for qualifying purchases of super-efficient clothes washers and high-efficiency toilets to reduce water demand indoors.
- Education and outreach about water conservation shared through the Town’s website and in the annual water quality report. We also provide an annual water conservation program for 5th grade and 8th students! Has your student participated?
- Free services and materials like conservation device give-aways, conservation consultations with interested residential customers, and water impact reports for large projects.
- Water conservation was also prioritized in our Sustainable Concord, climate action and resilience plan. Check out the steps we’ll take to get there in our implementation blueprint.
What can you do to help? A sustainable landscape helps save time, money, and water, and supports healthy ecosystems!
The good news is that there are steps you can take to help! Sustainable landscaping is a great way to reduce your nonessential water consumption in the summer, the time when water is most scarce. The benefits to sustainable landscaping are huge – increased biodiversity, reduced water demand, reduced maintenance needs, increased groundwater recharge, improved resilience to climate change, and more.
- Make sure you follow all Town water use restrictions and water only on your designated day.
- Register your irrigation system with CPW. Why? A properly designed and operated irrigation system will result in "smarter sprinkling" by preventing watering during or after rainfall when the soil doesn’t need it, and by timing watering early in the morning when it is most efficiently absorbed into the soil and taken up by plantings.
- Check for leaks and take advantage of free conservation devices and rebates from CPW.
- Make a plan for sustainable landscaping at your home. Concord’s Sustainable Landscaping Guide is here to help! Some of the top tips – Start small, make sure you have healthy soil, use native plants, and water wisely.
Need more help? We’re here to help. Check out our resources:
Sustainable Landscape Speaker Series – Recordings
We hope you are excited to start your new sustainable landscape! These are just a few examples of how you can help Concord move towards a resilient future. Did you learn anything new from this post? Let us know! And make sure to send progress pictures of your new lawn!
For more about sustainable landscaping, visit: concordma.gov/greenscapes