Measuring and managing water correctly takes a lot of work.
Fremont, Calif.-based Del Conte’s Landscaping has always prided itself on incorporating the latest science and technology into its business. That’s why company president Tom Del Conte incorporated a specialized irrigation division with its own research and development programs focused on exploring advanced irrigation technology.
“It’s not uncommon for landscapers to just use the method of an educated guess and trying to get as close as possible to an appropriate water management goal,” says Del Conte. “But there’s a lot more that can be done in the area of water management from understanding how many minutes are required for the landscape all the way to creating a budget and knowing how many gallons of water should be used on any particular site. The old adage of: ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ is true.”
This is where the research and development program comes into play. Del Conte employs a measurement tool that matches water use with real time demand. “We’re constantly assessing how much water should’ve been put down and how much water was actually put down,” he says.
Del Conte admits that all of the extra effort doesn’t typically return a quick profit. “As a company we are forgoing those short-term profits and making an investment in research and development as part of a goal toward our future,” he says. “It’s a long-term investment. We even do our own reviews of manufacturer’s performance. The manufacturer will tell us what their performance is but then we go out and do our own research to verify that and come up with our own assessment. It’s not always cost effective in the short run but it builds us to a better understanding of our irrigation management and to us that’s worth the investment.”