The Irrigation Association (IA) and the American Society of Irrigation Consultants (ASIC) released a new version of their Landscape Irrigation Best Management Practices. The update reflects sound engineering practices, emerging technologies and recommended techniques for efficient water use.

The updated guidelines incorporate feedback from irrigation designers, consultants, contractors and water managers to ensure the BMPs remain relevant in today’s market. Highlights include:

Three BMPs for landscape irrigation:

Design the irrigation system to efficiently use water resources.
Install the irrigation system to meet the design criteria.
Manage landscape water resources to maintain a healthy and functional landscape.
Practice guidelines for effective implementation and adapting the BMPs to local conditions.
Recommendations for evaluating potential irrigation water resources, including non-potable sources.
Appendices with information on system inspection and commissioning, irrigation scheduling, and water budgeting.

“We’ve included more discussion about considering all potential water resources that could be used for irrigation as an alternative to using potable water sources,” said IA Industry Development Director Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CAIS. “We’ve also put greater emphasis on the important role water managers play in ensuring that systems are well maintained and that water resources are being used efficiently.”

The guidelines are directed primarily toward system owners, irrigation consultants, irrigation designers, contractors, water managers and irrigation system maintenance personnel.

“Professional irrigation consultants have long understood that effective and efficient irrigation only starts with well thought out planning, design and specifications,” said ASIC Executive Director Carol Colein. “This document also rightfully addresses the importance of proper system installation and ongoing maintenance and system management practices. The joining of the different aspects into a single document will serve the industry well for years to come.”

Since the Landscape Irrigation BMPs were first published in 2002, they have been adopted by many landscape organizations, government agencies and water purveyors. The updated BMPs:

Allow irrigation professionals to adopt accepted practices to minimize water use and waste in managed landscapes.
Serve as a credible resource for policy- and decision-makers who are developing and implementing standards and codes related to landscape irrigation.

The updated document is available at no charge on the IA and ASIC websites.