EcoScapes of Santa Fe works responsibly within the arid southwest, which translates to an appropriate choice of plantings, application of mulch and inclusion of water conservation methods.
Our comprehensive designs include water conservation and irrigation systems. Ecoscapes specializes in active and passive water harvesting techniques, grey water irrigation, and drip irrigation systems to maximize the water resources that flow through the property.
Drip Irrigation services include:
- Installation of new irrigation systems, system evaluations, and estimates.
- Spring activation and winterization of existing systems. These services include cistern-integrated systems and battery-operated irrigation zones.
- Basic maintenance, repair, and overall health check of irrigation systems.
- Water audits provide information about current water consumption and give clients the data so that water conservation systems can be adjusted appropriately.
- Install efficient sprinklers for both lawns and re-vegetation areas.
- Retrofit existing irrigation systems to draw from a cistern and lower potable water use.
- Complete overhaul of existing systems in order to more efficiently water existing landscapes.
- Additions to existing systems, such as new zones and adding emitters to new or growing plants and trees.
- Consultations and full-scale designs.
Passive Water Harvesting
EcoScapes team uses swales and berms, dry streambeds, pumice wicks, mulch and infiltration basins to passively capture and hold water on site.
Passive water harvesting first requires careful observation of the flow of water across and through the landscape, including water runoff from nearby buildings, slopes and waterways. Observation is followed by thoughtful design and construction of a system that slows stormwater. Slowing the speed of the water allows rainwater to seep into the roots of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation, as well as replenish the aquifer.
Active Water Harvesting
- One inch of rainwater falling on a 2,000 square foot roof can yield over 1,200 gallons of water; and, with a cistern, you can collect and save this valuable FREE resource!
- Rainwater is naturally “soft”, or low in minerals, which makes it better for garden and yard uses when compared to “hard” tap water.
- Stored rainwater creates a buffer to protect one’s investment in trees, other plants, and landscape features like fountains and ponds which positively influences property values.
- Rising water prices or governmental restrictions on water use during the prime growing season can be mitigated by having adequate rainwater storage.
- Reduces damage to creeks, water habitats, and organisms due to stormwater runoff. Increased rainwater collection and storage reduces the pressure on municipalities and other water districts to add expensive infrastructure required during peak growing season.
Water Storage Tanks
Collecting and storing rainwater in above or below ground tanks allows for irrigating plants with rainwater even during the dry hot summer months. Above-ground tanks generally use gravity to direct the water to desired areas, while below-ground tanks require a pump that can then take the water into an automated irrigation system.
In addition to installing large fully buried polyethylene water storage tanks, the EcoScapes crew designs and builds waterproof concrete and plain steel expanded metal water storage tanks. These vessels are shaped out of closely spaced steel rebar, covered with a mixture of Portland cement and sand, and color coated to coordinate with the stucco on a client’s house. Ferro cement tanks have the advantage of being constructed on-site and sized according to the client’s wishes and the site’s requirements. Ferro cement tanks can also serve as a wind block or privacy screen for a seating area. Add a useable planting area on top of a tank or use its side as a hillside retaining wall. A Ferro cement tank may double as a seating bench or other design amenity in addition to being a storage vessel for rainwater.
Storage, coupled with passive design, can conserve thousands of gallons of water for landscape needs year-round. Collected rainwater is also nutritive-rich superior water for gardens. The city of Santa Fe offers rebates for properly installed rain barrels and cisterns, ranging from 12 cents/gallon to 50 cents/gallon – for more information, see the Save Santa Fe Water page.
We highly recommend EcoScapes as a Landscape Architect and Irrigation Specialists. We have used them for two projects: 1) a two-level rock wall terrace on our hillside that included plantings and an irrigation system in the back of our property. The two-man crew that built the wall did meticulous work and we couldn't be more pleased with the result; and 2) a rainwater harvesting system and terraced garden on the side of our property. The installation crew again were very polite and hard-working. They did a great job blending the retention tank into the landscape. The terraced stone garden is beautiful even before the plants have been added (will be done this spring). Michael and the designer spent time working on permits with the City and were frequently at the job site making sure everything was going according to plan. It is a pleasure working with them.