Water World: Major upgrade, major savings

June 2, 2023 -  By

LOCATION: Santa Rosa, Calif.

COMPANY: Landesign Construction & Maintenance

Landesign Construction & Maintenance converted 36 apartment complexes to Weathermatic’s Smart-Link system, a remote-managed smart irrigation control system including on-site weather stations. In the first year of the project, the company conducted a case study on 10 sites in the Santa Rosa area to analyze water consumption and the sites slashed water use by 38 percent.

JJ Fitzgerald, chief operating officer at Landesign, says the client wanted to invest in its properties to conserve water. With mandates to reduce water use by 20 percent in the Santa Rosa area, the company implemented an operations plan to bring the entire irrigation portfolio online.

“Rather than just cutting all the water back 20 percent, we were able to install weather stations and apply water when it was most needed and still achieve over 20 percent water savings,” he says.

Jorge Lugo, irrigation manager for Landesign, says while the team of account managers expected to see 20- to 25-percent savings, the results surprised them. Lugo says Landesign plans to continue to tweak the systems to boost the water savings even more.

“We can achieve greater success while keeping one of the biggest investments for the customer — which is their landscaping — in good health,” Lugo says. “It’s our goal to educate our clients on water conservation and proper management of the landscaping.”

With this targeted approach to irrigation, the landscaping responds positively, Lugo says.

“You start noticing that you can train plants and trees to reduce their water use and maximize water uptake when irrigated,” he says. “Instead of giving them an excessive amount of water, we’ve cut that back through weather-based irrigation and the landscape has looked healthier.”

Fitzgerald says there was an initial learning curve and some sites suffered from connectivity issues during installation early on. However the team at Landesign worked with Weathermatic to get everything connected.

“Now that we’ve worked out a few kinks in the last two seasons, our techs are excited about this program and see the benefits as they work with these controllers,” he says.

(Photo: Landesign Construction & Maintenance)

(Photo: Landesign Construction & Maintenance)

Landesign COO JJ Fitzgerald says integrating Weathermatic’s SmartLink system helps Landesign recruit, retain and train talent. This is because the company continues to adopt technology and improve the team’s skill set.

(Photo: Weathermatic)

(Photo: Weathermatic)

Landesign conducted a case study of 10 sites in the Santa Rosa area to analyze water consumption with the help of this technology. In the first year, the sites slashed water use by 38 percent.

(Photo: Landesign Construction & Maintenance)

(Photo: Landesign Construction & Maintenance)

Fitzgerald says Weathermatic’s online connected irrigation helps the company reduce non-billable hours and increase revenue.

Did your company recently complete a noteworthy irrigation project? Do you have photos? We want to hear about it! Email Editor Christina Herrick at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net to have your company’s irrigation project featured in our Water World section.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Featured, From the Magazine, Water World
Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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