Design or redesign a landscape

Select an irrigation system

Photo: Landscape being irrigated by sprinklers

A well-chosen, well-operated irrigation system is a vital part of nearly any landscape. By selecting an appropriate system, you will ensure that plants receive water when they most need it, which helps keep them healthy and attractive.

Selecting the right type of system is especially important when the water used for irrigation is of elevated salinity, as is the case with some recycled waters. That's because water of moderate or high salinity can damage salt-sensitive plants. Also, applying such water may, under certain circumstances, exacerbate an existing soil-chemistry problem or may foster the clogging of certain kinds of irrigation systems.

A few adjustments to the irrigation system may be needed when using water of elevated salinity. Some of these adjustments are outlined later in this module. Whether to adjust a system or not depends on the tolerance of the landscape's plants to the salinity of the irrigation water. For most of California’s recycled waters, the overall salinity is low enough that only slight or moderate changes in irrigation method will likely be needed when growing moderately tolerant species, and no changes are likely needed when growing highly tolerant species.

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