Wise water use proves an all-around win

Hod Hasharon has managed to cut water consumption for city parks and gardens by 10 percent.

The city of Hod Hasharon saved 100,000 cubic meters of water in 2007-2008 through careful watering of its public gardens, and is now studying ways to save thousands of liters of water more this year, reports www.local.co.il. The city's Gardens Department has begun conducting a thorough survey of public parks and gardens that aims to replace thirsty seasonal flowers with plants that require significantly less water, and to create more precise watering systems and controls. According to the report, the city's survey will cover every aspect of the gardening system, from the types and arrangements of plants in public gardens "down to a single pot plant." Plants that require heavy watering, such as seasonal flowers and stretches of lawn, will be replaced with less thirsty, more durable flowers and plants, including herbs such as rosemary and flowers adapted to hot climates such as the native Gazania (the Histadrut or Treasure flower) and Japanese Pittosporum. The city is also examining remote-control watering systems for all its larger gardens. The report said that careful watering had resulted in the city's saving more than 100,000 cubic meters of water in 2007-2008, and that it was aiming to save thousands more this year. A municipal spokesman said that Hod Hasharon was one of the most water-conservative cities in Israel and had invested "a great deal" in water-saving infrastructure over the past two years. The spokesman said the city had reduced its water consumption for gardening by 10 percent, despite increasing the size of its garden areas by 15%.