Your irrigation water costs will be significantly higher this year due to 2 factors: First, year to date we have needed 25% more water than an average year. To compound that, water rates are rising significantly as well. Luckily fall is near and we have significantly reduced irrigation but the record breaking extended dry summer and water cost increases will hit your budget hard.

Did you know that the average price for water in the Portland Metro area has doubled in the past 6 years? As you can see from the chart above, all rates have risen, some more than other, and the rates vary widely from city to city. Good news for those of you in Gresham, as your rates have risen the least and your water is the cheapest. Bad news for those of you in Wilsonville and Tigard, as your rates have risen the most and are the most expensive.  

The reason for the differing rates varies but the point we want to make is to prepare for annual increases greater than the overall inflation as that has been the pattern for the past 7 years and will likely continue.

Another point to make is that as water rates rise, conservation projects make more and more financial sense. Whether you want to "save the world" by conserving water, you all will agree that high ROI conservation projects are a "no brainer".

There are lots of projects that can improve irrigation efficiency including weather-based irrigation, system upgrades, drip irrigation, and lawn elimination. However, each site's needs are different. This is why we are now proposing Irrigation System Evaluations in 2019 Budgets.  
These evaluations will provide system maps and a zone by zone evaluation of the systems efficiency and problems. With this evaluation, we can work with you to develop projects that will both reduce your water use and save you money while improving the appearance of your landscape by elimination the drought stress dry spots and unhealthy plants. 

As we are all seeing in every aspect of our businesses, technology is rapidly changing and our businesses are benefiting from each advancement. Irrigation control is one of the many parts of Landscape Management that is benefiting from improved technology.  Weather Based Irrigation  can now control your irrigation from anywhere and adjust as needed regardless of time and location. This helps us control your irrigation in the most cost efficient method.

The operation of these new water management products is based on monitoring and adjusting daily irrigation due to the ever changing weather and associated irrigation need. The problem has been getting the remote on-site irrigation controller to connect with the central control computer in the irrigation manager's office and ideally on their phone. New advances have finally been made to make this easy and affordable.

If you don't have weather based irrigation control, you need to consider it as it makes sense for most properties.
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