7 Smart Fountain Designs That Help Conserve Water

No need to sacrifice beauty in the interest of water conservation — these smart fountain designs let you have both

Water brings tranquility, balance and movement to an outdoor space, qualities nearly impossible to replicate with other materials. How do you get the look with water conservation in mind? There are a few strategies:

  • Decrease evaporation by minimizing the surface area
  • Surround with permeable materials
  • Include water foliage
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle


Just in case you think I’ve just eliminated all the joy a water feature should deliver, check out these beautiful, water-conscious fountains.
Water-Conscious Landscape Designs to Adopt


Minimize surface area. Evaporation steals water from your feature. Minimizing its surface area by choosing a fountain or fall with a small surface area of water reduces the space for this process to take place.


Fountain 1J’Nell Bryson Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz


Regardless of the surface area, evaporation is slower in areas that remain cool. The trees that surround this space are likely to substantially decrease the evaporation in this charming set of fountains.


Fountain 2Kerry Burt & Associates, original photo on Houzz


Surround with permeable materials. When splash and spray are desired effects, consider placing foliage at the base of a water feature. The foliage joints in this patio will enjoy any overspray the fountain sends their way. Were the joints made of gravel, the patio surrounding the fountain would still have the benefit of allowing overspray to permeate into the ground rather than coming to rest on a hardscape and evaporating.


Fountain 3Claudio Ortiz Design Group Inc, original photo on Houzz


Surround with splash-catching foliage. This design applies the same strategy, placing foliage in the area most likely to receive splash.

Enjoy a Fountain From Afar on a New Porch Swing


Fountain 4Debora Carl Landscape Design, original photo on Houzz


Reduce splash and overspray. This lovely fountain’s small evaporative space and splash are appropriate to a desert environment.


Don’t let it bubble away. A bubbling fountain reduces all splashing and water flows quietly down the sides, sheathlike, into a recirculating basin.


Fountain 5AMS Landscape Design Studios Inc, original photo on Houzz


Add water foliage. Whereas the foliage in the previous photos increased the sustainability of the fountains, this one seems designed to sustain the garden bed — a wonderful idea.


Fountain 6AMS Landscape Design Studios Inc, original photo on Houzz


Reduce, reuse … This charming set of water fountains appears to be fed by runoff from a slope. Once captured, of course, the water can be reused.

20 Water-Wise Tips for Indoors and Out

Sign up for our Newsletter

How to Survive the Last Heat Wave of Summer

Relax Back With One of These Stunning Built-In Garden Bench Designs