Toro Irrigation, a division of The Toro Company, recently brought together landscape professionals and industry experts at its Success Without Excess III WaterSmart Symposium (available online at to discuss the importance of water conservation methods in landscaping. Toro Irrigation invited Stephanie Tanner, WaterSense products lead for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director for the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and Julian Gray, CEO of Smart Approved WaterMark, to share their expertise during the symposium.

During the WaterSmart Symposium, Tanner, Dickinson and Gray addressed how their different agencies are working to promote products and services that help conserve water, educate consumers on water conservation issues and champion innovative solutions for sustainable water use around the home.

“To save water for future generations, we need to use water more efficiently now,” said Tanner. “Statistics prove how immediate this issue is — for example, approximately 30 percent of household water is used outside, and of that, up to 50 percent of landscape watering is wasted. In addition, at least 36 states are anticipating water shortages by 2013. Toro’s Success Without Excess III symposium offered a platform for us to discuss the immediacy of this issue with an international audience.”

Dickinson concurred with Tanner’s assessment of the importance of taking action on this issue. She said, “Water conservation now can help alleviate the pain of future shortages and the cost of dealing with them. The issue is that the average U.S. consumer is not aware of shortage issues, supply problems or even economical efficiency opportunities. Building awareness through symposiums like Success Without Excess III, as well as through local, regional and national programs is key to changing behaviors.”

Gray rounded out the symposium session with thoughts on how water conservation needs to be viewed as a sustainability issue, not just for drought crisis management.

For more information on the topic of water conservation, as well as other topics presented during the Toro WaterSmart Symposium, please go to