Efficient Water Use in Residential Urban Landscapes Academic Article uri icon


  • In the United States, urban population growth, improved living standards, limited development of new water supplies, and dwindling current water supplies are causing the demand for treated municipal water to exceed the supply. Although water used to irrigate the residential urban landscape will vary according to factors such as landscape type, management practices, and region, landscape irrigation can vary from 40% to 70% of household use of water. So, the efficient use of irrigation water in urban landscapes must be the primary focus of water conservation. In addition, plants in a typical residential landscape often are given more water than is required to maintain ecosystem services such as carbon regulation, climate control, and preservation of aesthetic appearance. This implies that improvements in the efficiency of landscape irrigation will yield significant water savings. Urban areas across the United States face different water supply and demand issues and a range of factors will affect how water is used in the urban landscape. The purpose of this review is to summarize how irrigation and water application technologies; landscape design and management strategies; the relationship among people, plants, and the urban landscape; the reuse of water resources; economic and noneconomic incentives; and policy and ordinances impact the efficient use of water in the urban landscape.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hilaire, R. S., Arnold, M. A., Wilkerson, D. C., Devitt, D. A., Hurd, B. H., Lesikar, B. J., ... Zoldoske, D. F.

citation count

  • 118

complete list of authors

  • Hilaire, Roiston St||Arnold, Miehael A||Wilkerson, Don C||Devitt, Dale A||Hurd, Brian H||Lesikar, Bruce J||Lohr, Virginia I||Martin, Chris A||McDonald, Garry V||Morris, Robert L||Pittenger, Dennis R||Shaw, David A||Zoldoske, David F

publication date

  • December 2008