The City of Carmel, Ind., has partnered with irrigation professionals to promote efficient water use and green best practices.
In June 2008, a coalition of irrigation experts — including six contractors, a designer and two distributors — met with water department officials to discuss how best to educate residents about solutions to save water and money. Irrigation Association members Steve Christie, owner of Automatic Irrigation Supply Company, headquartered in nearby Fishers, Ind., and Tom Barrett, president of Indianapolis-based Green Water Infrastructure, Inc., were part of that first meeting and have remained active in the initiative.
Since July 2008, the city has used Smart Irrigation Month as a platform to encourage homeowners to install and maintain effective, efficient irrigation systems. Almost 30 percent of the homes in Carmel have irrigation systems and the number continues to grow.
“We believe that by working together, we can reduce our peak water consumption without imposing restrictions on the community,” said John Duffy, director of Water and Sewage Utilities.
According to Christie, a director on IA’s board and former chair of its Communications Committee, tools developed by the Irrigation Association are an important part of resident outreach. Carmel Utilities also developed a feature segment for Connecting With Carmel, a local cable network show. The program focuses on the state-of-the-art irrigation systems used in city roundabouts and road medians.
As Sue Maki, the utility’s manager of customer relations and education explains, “By highlighting water and energy efficient irrigation systems used by the City of Carmel in areas that citizens drive by every day, we are educating them about cost-effective devices and systems available for installation at their own homes.”
Other Carmel initiatives include:
Adding information on Smart Irrigation Month to the city web site.
Distributing free rain gauges with an IA-developed insert on how much water is too much at a community event.
City officials continue to meet regularly with the advisory council to support Carmel’s efforts to promote efficient water use. Visit www.carmel.in.gov to learn more about city initiatives.