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Cross Pollinator’s Corner: Watering Smarter

Cross Pollinator’s Corner: Watering Smarter

One of the many reasons that I enjoy being a part of professional organizations, is that I am part of a collective, positive force within the landscape industry and can further help my clients. I am proud that WSNLA is proactively assisting homeowners and professionals with the knowledge and skill to help with watering landscapes properly and responsibly. My message to homeowners is to use the information given within your Design Folder to measure the amount of water used using the ‘tuna can method’ and reach out to the Saving Water Partnership if needed.   Governor Inslee Declares Drought Emergency Plant Smart, Water Smarter Wednesday, July 14, 2021 Today, Governor Inslee announced an Emergency Drought Declaration that spans nearly the entire state. The only areas excluded from this declaration are the Everett, Seattle and Tacoma metro areas, which are reporting adequate water levels. In advance of this announcement, the Department of Ecology and WSNLA were in communication about potential impacts to nursery and landscape businesses and regarding the determination of undue hardship due to drought conditions. No matter what time of year, drought and water restrictions impact demand for nursery and greenhouse plants. Landscape companies, booked out with jobs, may begin to see reduced demand. Washingtonians with newly installed gardens and landscapes will be concerned about protecting their landscape assets through establishment. WSNLA has communicated that any message that identifies our industry as the first target for water savings is not adequately addressing the conservation of water. Recognizing these industry impacts, Department of Ecology has collected messaging from WSNLA, to share through their communication channels, about successfully growing plants and trees during periods of water restriction. This messaging includes water-smart solutions and directs Washingtonians to consult you, the expert. Washington residents will want to respond responsibly and do the right thing. You, as a nursery or landscape professional, are equipped with knowledge and expertise to assist homeowners to protect plants and trees and help with sustainable landscape practices. If you haven’t already, it is timely to position your nursery or landscape company as a resource for successfully growing plants and trees during periods of water restrictions and consider fire-wise landscape strategies and plant material.   To aid in this effort: Water-Smart Solutions for Gardens & Landscapes, a new resource on GardenWashington.com, is available to share with your customers and clients. It includes water-wise tips, resources to consult with WSNLA members, and a list of links to dive deeper into water efficiency solutions. WSNLA member content can be added to the GardenWashington water-smart solutions resource page and blog feed. If you have video content; blogs; social media materials; or upcoming events you would like to share, please email them to breanne@wsnla.org. Getting more trees planted for climate change is part of the solution. Proper watering to get them established is essential. Over the past year, nursery and landscape businesses have been reporting record demand. Washington residents who have invested greatly in their outdoor spaces – and the environment – through the planting of trees, shrubs and flowers need to protect these new landscape assets. The Saving Water Partnership’s Smart Watering guide (pdf) and How to Water New Plants (pdf) are available to use as resources for your customers and clients. Any recommendation for the voluntary curtailment of water will come at the local level. Be aware of any local restrictions that might apply to your city and/or county and advise your customers and clients to check with their local water jurisdictions regarding any relevant water restrictions. As previously mentioned, the Everett, Seattle and Tacoma metro areas are excluded from this declaration, as they are reporting adequate levels of water. WSNLA continues to advocate for member businesses. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

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