Water has been historically cheap in Oregon and the need and thus the motivation to invest in conservation has not had good R.O.I. With the growth of the region, new water sources are needed and significantly increasing the cost of water, especially irrigation. Water rates vary based on district but all are rising faster than any other utility and most have doubled in the past 5 years and are projected to double again in the near future. There is good and bad news here.
THE BAD NEWS:
According to the EPA, on average, 70% of total water usage on a commercial property comes from exterior water sources and irrigation, of which often times 50% is wasted. This is due to aging landscapes and irrigation systems combined with the lack of updating since installation. Compare a typical 30 year old landscape around a 30 year old building. Likely, many updates have occurred to HVAC and lighting over that time while the surrounding landscapes have had minimal upgrades other than repairs or cosmetic changes.
THE GOOD NEWS:
There are significant opportunities for irrigation system upgrades and modifications as well as landscape modifications that will reduce irrigation water need while improving the appearance and long-term health of the landscape.
However, each site and client is different and the appropriate upgrades or modifications can vary. To help assist in the recommendation of the highest value projects to consider, Pacific Landscape Management has established a Water Conservation Department and trained our staff on water conservation services. This department has developed a Water Conservation Evaluation that we are offering to develop plans to evaluate sites to help conserve water consumption and save our customer operational dollars.