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Water Wise

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: April, 2009, Page 40
eco-friendly news you can use

WATER-FREE FALLS
Living in the Las Vegas desert makes one very aware of wasting water, says award-winning glass artist Leslie Rankin. With that in mind, she created Glassic Mirage, a waterless waterfall. Made of highly textured glass, the custom pieces can be as large as the 8-foot by 14-foot sheets she produces, and even grander in size when more pieces are grouped together, as pictured here. She explains that a wavy design that has the appearance of moving water is located within the glass slab itself. The result is that “you still have that sense of refreshment you get from a water feature” without having to use water or the power to keep it flowing.

The Glassic Mirage can be customized for indoor or outdoor use. For details, call Glassic Art by Leslie Rankin, (702) 658-7588 or (888) 834-1639; or log on to glassicart.com.

TIP - If water pools or runs off your lawn when you use your sprinklers, split your watering time into two or more sessions.—Water Use It Wisely


NO-MOW “LAWN”
There’s no more lawn to water and fuss over when you choose your spot of green from faux varieties. NewGrass® synthetic turf, for example, is touted as both water-wise—you don’t have to water it—and eco-friendly. The “grass” blades are made of plastic derived from recycled plastic soft drink and water bottles, and the backing is produced primarily from renewable soybeans.

Replacing some of your real grass with the NewGrass® may entitle you to a water-conservation rebate. For example, if you remove a minimum of 500 square feet of grass and install certain types of artificial turf, the city of Scottsdale will give you a one-time credit on your water bill of 25 cents per square foot of synthetic turf installed, up to $1,500.

NewGrass® is sold through authorized dealers. For details, call (866) 583-5602, or check newgrass.com online. Contact your city’s water department for rebate information.


RAIN CHAIN
The Japanese are said to have used delicately linked rain chains for centuries to funnel rain from rooftops into barrels or stone vessels. This 81/2-foot-long copper Hammered Cups Rain Chain offers a visually pleasing way to capture and save rainwater for your indoor or outdoor plants. Shallow copper catch basins also are available. To order, visit rainchainsstore.com. For more details, call (802) 660-8070











WATER SAVER
Tired of seeing water from your lawn running down the driveway? You might want to investigate the MP Rotator® sprinkler nozzle from Hunter Industries. The company has adapted for residential use technology that once was used only in the agriculture industry, says spokesman John Wascher.
   
Grooves in the MP Rotator nozzle correspond with various distances of lawn to be watered, such as 4, 8 or 15 feet. These “multistreams” not only reach specific grass areas uniformly, they do so more slowly and with bigger water droplets than conventional sprinklers. This curtails runoff, which occurs when water is applied faster than the soil can absorb it, notes Wascher. “You’re reducing water consumption by 30 percent,” he adds.
  
For purchasing information, call Ewing Irrigation Products in Phoenix, (602) 997-2661; or to locate a dealer near you, visit hunterindustries.com.


WORDS OF WISDOM

Whoosh. Gurgle. This is the sound of money, the environment and 3 gallons of water for future generations going down the drain, write Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert in their book Water: Use Less—Save More (Chelsea Green Publishing Co.).

The pair points to startling statistics to show the need for water conservation. One example: Fifty percent of water that is applied to landscapes is wasted because of evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering.

The text lists 100 ways to reduce excessive water use in places where waste is likely to occur, such as in the kitchen, bathroom and garden. A tip like “While waiting for your water to run hot, collect the cold water and use it on your plants” may not only make readers think “green,” but could help sustain their gardens as well.

Photographs accompany most of the tips in this how-to guide. In addition, the 70-page book reveals where the water in our faucets comes from and addresses global water shortages. —Mary Modney
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