For instance, on the conventional spray side, Kuehn says Rain Bird’s 5000 Plus Series Rotors with PRS (pressure regulated stem) can help reduce water waste by 45%—without sacrificing performance.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense initiative is also helping spread the word about water conservation. Quality, water-efficient products get a WaterSense label, making it easy for consumers to know when they’re buying a product that will help them save water. Hundreds of landscape irrigation contractors have also earned this stamp of approval by becoming EPA WaterSense partners. (See “It Makes Perfect Sense” for more.)
Perhaps your strongest sales hook is the rebate your customer could receive for “going green” when it comes to their irrigation system. “Many communities around the country are stepping up and providing incentives, so contractors have to step up and help their customers take advantage,” Kuehn says. “Contractors have to know what the programs are in their area. Some simply provide free training. But others offer financial incentives.”
Whatever the case, the irrigation contractor who’s well-informed will be viewed by consumers as a trusted adviser. As the sustainability movement continues to gain traction in 2009, now is the time for you to step into that role yourself.
“The contractor who’s able to have a dialogue with customers and talk about things like sustainability and new irrigation technology is going to have a leg up,” Kuehn says. “If there’s an overall push in this industry it’s the responsible use of water. It must be used effectively, efficiently and responsibly.”
It Makes Perfect Sense
The water conservation movement is real—and it’s not going away. Consider the following statistics and facts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
• Although roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1% is available for human use.
• At least 36 states are projecting water shortages by 2013.
• Consumers can use 30% less water by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances. They can also save roughly $170 per year.
The EPA’s WaterSense initiative is helping spread the word about water conservation. Quality, water-efficient products get a WaterSense label, making it easy for consumers to know when they’re buying a product that will help them save water.
Hundreds of landscape irrigation contractors have also earned this stamp of approval by becoming WaterSense partners. According to the EPA, if homeowners with irrigation systems hired WaterSense irrigation partners to perform regular maintenance, each household could reduce the amount of water used for irrigation by 15%, or roughly 9,000 gallons a year.
Warren Gorowitz of Ewing Irrigation says earning WaterSense certification is about the best investment an irrigation contractor can make for his future. “You’ll probably start seeing big bid projects that require WaterSense certification,” Gorowitz says. “The EPA is also developing requirements for new home construction.”
Visit epa.gov/watersense for more information on the WaterSense program and becoming certified.