Landscape Water Budget Tool
WaterSense, a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. The program is a sort of water focused LEED system that seeks to help consumers make smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.
As part of that program they address landscape irrigation and they have a fairly basic but interesting application called the Water Budget Tool. This tool compares your required water use for your improved landscape via irrigation compared to a baseline water requirement of 4" high maintained turf-grass.
Simply input your information and hit "Next Step":
This next screen is extremely easy to use but in doing so oversimplifies landscape areas into broad area such as "Trees" or "Groundcover" the reality is that often these areas overlap. See below:
Input a finer level of information, click "Next Step", and voila:
As a jumping off point at a schematic level, this basic tool gets designers and irrigation specialists thinking about the balance of plants based on water use.
Give it a whirl: